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J. B. BURY, M.A., F.B.A. 
S. A. COOK, Litt.D. 







■ M3S — 

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I N volume i the history of the Egyptian and Babylonian civiliza- 
tions was brought down to the beginning of the sixteenth cen- 
tury b.c., and in both cases the stoi-y ended in a dark and disturbed 
period. We left Egypt occupied by the Hyksos and Babylonia by 
the Kassites. Obscure as the early centuries of the second millen- 
nium are, enough is known of the Hyksos and Kassite episodes 
and of still obscurer vicissitudes in the Levant to warn us that 
some important movements which we cannot yet clearly trace 
were then progressing. With the sixteenth century we enter 
upon a period which is more highly illuminated, and which in 
some sense has always been familiar ground. The six centuries 
included in the present volume cover events well-known from 
the Old Testament (the “exodus” and conquests of the Israelites, 
and the rise of their monarchy) and from classical tradition (the 
thalassocracy of Minos, the Trojan War, the Dorian invasions). 

But these traditions have now a very different aspect from 
that which they bore for historians of antiquity sixty years ago 
who attempted to interpret them and restore the historical setting. 
The archaeological discoveries that have been made since then 
furnish a new background which,h'ad hardly b.eetT suspected, and 
disclose a multitude of new fact! derh^dmfern one of the best 
kinds of historical sources, contemporary official documents. The 
discovery of the “Amarna letters” in 1887 was followed about 
twenty years later by the discovery of the archives of the old 
Hittite Empire at its capital, Boghaz Keui. The power and extent 
of the Hittite Empire is the most conspicuous fact in the history 
of the second millennium that has emerged from the research of 
the last half century. This Empire, of which Rawlinson did not 
suspect the existence, has now taken an important place in the 
list of the great Oriental Monarchies. 

We know little enough about the Hittites yet, but we are 
able to form a definite idea of their political importance, and we 
know that we shall presently know much more. Relatively few 
of the thousands of Boghaz Keui documents have yet been 
published, but so unexpected has been their contribution to the 
history of this mysterious people that what may ultimately be 
found lies beyond the limit of speculation. Time must elapse 
before the harvest of the Hittite archives can be fully gathered in 
and the chaff separated from the wheat; new texts have to be 



properly edited, and it often requires the co-operation of experts 
in different fields before their true significance can be safely 
determined. It would be hazardous and inexpedient. to register 
here every new preliminary announcement before there has been 
an opportunity of checking it, and experience suggests that it is 
safer to say too little than what may afterwards prove to have be en » 
too much." It is well to remember that the classical edition of the 
Amarna letters by the Danish scholar, the late Dr J. A. Knudtzon 
(with the co-operation of well-known German Assyriologists), 
was not completed until 19x5, and that since then a few more of 
the same collection, some of importance, have been published 1 . 

Discoveries which appeal most vividly to the eye and the 
imagination are not always those which contribute most to the 
reconstruction of ancient history. While the eyes of the world have 
been fixed on the excavations at Luxor, the achievement of the 
late Lord Carnarvon and Mr Howard Carter, so important for our 
knowledge of Egyptian art, other discoveries have been made, 
from Mesopotamia to the shores of the Mediterranean, which 
are more important for our knowledge of ancient history in its 
wider aspects. The archaeological and documentary material has 
been steadily, and in later years rapidly, accumulating; but there 
are still many dark places, many unresolved problems, and many 
sharp conflicts of opinion. The chronological questions, though 
not so large and serious as those which met us in volume. 1, are 
such as to preclude complete unanimity. Divergent spellings and 
transliterations of hieroglyphic and cuneiform names still cause 
many difficulties. Many places are of uncertain identification 
and are often differently located by different authorities. Incon- 
sistencies, in a work of collaboration like this, are unavoidable, 
and the reader should understand that they are typical of the 
lack of finality incidental to the nature of the evidence and its 
interpretation. He should realize, for instance, that so out- 
standing a figure as Ikhnaton can be viewed from different 
angles, that on the problems of Philistines, Dorians, Ionians, 
there is no entire agreement of opinion, that the value of the 
biblical narratives for this period, and that of the Homeric 
poems can be very variously appraised. The aim has been to 
present the facts as they appear to the several contributors, and 
the Editors have deliberately refrained from the effort to make 
the work represent any one particular school or tendency. 

1 Unfortunately they appeared after chapter xm was in type and could 
not be fully utilized (see pp. 313, 315). The same has to be said also of 
the archaeological discoveries at Byblus, Beth-shean, and elsewhere. 



But in spite of all the uncertainties we have now an impressive 
body of ascertained fact, a solid structure of knowledge; a general 
agreement Jfas been reached over certain broad questions and 
also in regard to the spirit and method of enquiry. The dis- 
coveries of the last hundred, and especially — we may perhaps say 
«-■ — the last forty, years have wrought a revolution and replaced 
once and for all an old long-familiar picture by a new one, and 
one which, so far as all indications suggest, will only be filled 
out and corrected by future research, not replaced by yet another. 

During the period surveyed in this volume peoples of south- 
western Asia, Egypt and south-eastern Europe were brought 
into close contact. Asia Minor, as the bridge between Asia and 
Europe, now assumes a particular importance on this account, as 
well as on account of the Hittites and the problems which their 
state raises. The volume therefore opens with two chapters on 
the peoples of Asia Minor and of Europe by Dr Giles, designed 
to introduce the reader to the general ethnical and linguistic facts. 

Egypt is again, as in vol. i, the country whose history is most 
fully known to us. Dr James Breasted, in six chapters, relates 
the internal and external events, and Professor Peet (chapter ix), 
continuing (from vol. i, chapter ix) his survey of life and thought, 
deals with the religion, law, science and literature of this period 
of Egyptian civilization. Of Babylonia and Assyria relatively little 
is known, but such were the relations between these countries 
and the Egyptian and Hittite Empires that some lucky discovery 
or the excavation of some Kassite town may at any time supply 
valuable new material. The scanty knowledge we have is sum- 
marized by Mr Campbell Thompson (chapter x), continuing his 
chapter in vol. x on the Kassite conquest. 

The Hittites of Asia Minor are introduced to the reader by 
Dr Hogarth (chapter xi), and the principal problems are specified; 
while the history of the later Hittites, when the scene has shifted 
to Syria, is reserved for the following volume. Levantine ques- 
tions, relating to the Keftians, Philistines and other peoples of the 
east Mediterranean coasts, are discussed (chapter xii) by Dr 
Hall, and to him is also due a chapter which carries on the story 
of art in the near east (chapter xv, compare vol. i, chapter xvi). 

As regards the history of Syria and Palestine, the Old Testa- 
ment itself gives the history of Israel. But scholars, however 
conservative they may be, find themselves obliged to attempt 
some sort of reconstruction. The plan here adopted by Dr Cook 
has been to give first (chapter xm) an account of those lands, 
based on the external and contemporary evidence (principally the 



Amarna letters) and independent of the Old Testament, and 
then (chapter xiv) an analysis of the biblical narrative, in order to 
define the data on which a reconstruction must be foynded. 

Mr Wace, continuing (chapter xvs) his account of the Aegean 
(see vol. i, chapter xvn), describes the civilization of Crete in the 
sixteenth and fifteenth centuries at the culmination of its power, 
and influence, and that of the “Mycenaean Empire” which, after 
the fall of Cnossus, succeeded to the dominating position of Crete 
in the Aegean. This chapter has a central importance, which is 
enhanced by the writer’s long experience of excavations in the 
Aegean area. 

In the thirteenth century we are in a period to which the tradi- 
tions of the Greeks reach back. Archaeology enables us, as Mr 
Wace explains, to fix the approximate times ot the fall of Cnossus, 
the building of the latest palaces at Mycenae and Tiryns, the 
florebat of Homeric Troy; but the exploration of the Aegean lands 
has not yielded to our curiosity decipherable archives. Hence, 
although during the last fifty years we have been gaining an 
ever-growing knowledge of the civilization of the heroic age of 
Greece which confirms and fills in the picture in Homer, we have 
no documents like those of Amarna or Boghaz Keui, giving in- 
formation about political events and enabling us to check or 
explain or illustrate the traditions. Hence we are still, for the 
Achaean period, very largely dependent on those traditions, and 
there is room for widely diverging views. For the last hundred 
years it has been so usual to treat the traditions with disrespect and 
scepticism that the treatment of the Achaean period by Professor 
Bury (chapter xvn) may seem indecently radical just because it is 
exceptionally conservative 1 . As our view of the heroic age depends 
mainly on our view of the Homeric poems, a chapter (xvin) has 
been added by the same writer on the Homeric controversy, in 
which the Unitarian doctrine is adopted. The reader will, however, 
notice that elsewhere in the volume other contributors state or 
imply a different view of the Homeric poems. 

After the Trojan War and the coming of the Iron Age we 
enter on a period of Aegean history on which, always notoriously 
obscure, but few and dim lights have been cast by archaeology. 

1 As we go to press news reaches us of the possibility that new light on 
the Achaeans may presently be forthcoming from Boghaz Keui, and perhaps 
a confirmation of the results of the Eratosthenic chronology. See Dr Giles 
in the Cambridge University Reporter for March, 1924, p. 685, and 
Dr Forrer’s preliminary announcement in the Orientalistische Liter atur- 
zeitung , March, col. 1 1 3 sqq. 



The two maipj movements, which were to set the stage for classical 
Greek history, were the Dorian invasions and the settlements of 
Hellenic peoples on the coasts of Asia Minor. The first is dis- 
cussed by Mr Wade-Gery (chapter xix); no definite narrative 
is possible, critical discussion is the only way in which the subject 
can be usefully treated. The course of the formation of an Asiatic 
Greece, through the series of movements so important for the 
future of the Hellenic race (commonly known as the Aeolic and 
Ionic migrations), is traced by Dr Hogarth (chapter xx). 

A chapter (xxi) by Professor Peet, Dr Ashby and Mr Thurlow 
Leeds, describes the archaeological results of exploration in the 
area of the western Mediterranean and the extreme western 
countries of Europe. It takes up such questions as the westward 
extension of Cretan and Mycenaean influences, the journeys of the 
Phoenicians, and the identity of the megalith-builders, and forms 
a link between the introductory chapters by Professor Myres in 
vol. i, and the history that will begin in the volumes that follow. 

Finally, in chapter xxii Professor Halliday treats of the 
difficult subject of the religion of the Greeks, its origins and 
characteristic features, and the structure of their mythology which 
remained so important a factor in the history of Greek life and 


The .Editors have to repeat their regret that it has not been 
possible to provide illustrations without adding very considerably 
to the cost of the volume. They are, however, glad to be able to 
announce that the Syndics of the Press have agreed to a separate 
volume of plates which, it is hoped, may be published in 1925. 

Prof. Halliday desires to tender his thanks to Dr L. R. Farnell 
for reading the first draft of his chapter. To Sir Arthur Evans 
Mr Wace also wishes to express his acknowledgments. Dr Cook 
desires to thank Prof. Bevan, and especially Prof. Kennett, and 
the Rev. W. A. L. Elmslie of Westminster College, Cambridge, 
for valuable criticisms and suggestions; but for the views ex- 
pressed in his chapters he himself is solely responsible. 

It is again the pleasant duty of the Editors to express their 
indebtedness to the contributors for the preparation of the biblio- 
graphies, for their advice on difficult questions which arose from 
time to time, and for their cordial co-operation in many ways. 
Special thanks are due to Mr Godfrey Driver, of Magdalen 
College, Oxford, for translations of the Amarna letters cited in 
chapter xixi ; and to him and to Mr Campbell Thompson for general 
Assyriological assistance, and to the latter for Map 4, and the 



chronological and other matter in the Appendix (pp. 696-701). 
Thanks are due also to Dr Hall and Prof. Feet for their advice 
and assistance in matters Egyptological. 

They are indebted to Dr Ashby and Prof. Peet in' the prepara- 
tion of Maps 14 and 15, and to both gentlemen and also Mr 
Thurlow .Leeds and Dr Giles for Map 13; to Dr Hogarth for 
Map 5; to Prof. Breasted for the plan of Kadesh (p, 69), and 
to him and to Messrs Scribner’s Sons for Maps 1 and 2; to 
Mr Nelson and the University- of Chicago for the plan of 
Megiddo (p. 145) ; to Messrs Bartholomew for Map 6; to Messrs 
A. and C. Black for Map 3; to Messrs Macmillan for the plan 
of the plain of Troy, from Professor Leaf’s Troy, to the 
publishers of the Encyclopedia Britannica for the plan of 
Mycenae. The plans of the palaces of Cnossus and Tirvns are 
from the Cambridge Companion to Greek Studies. The general 
and biblical indexes have been made by Mr W. E. C. Browne, 
M.A., former scholar of Emmanuel College. 

The design on the outside cover represents the fine limestone 
portrait of Ikhnaton, found by the German expedition at Tell 

A list of the more important corrections and additions which 
have been made in the second edition of vol. x will be found 
on a separate leaflet. 

J. B. B. 
S. A. C. 
F. E. A. 




By Peter Giles, Litt.D., F.B.A. 

Reader In Comparative Philology, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge 


Introduction ........... I 

I. General physical conditions of Asia Minor ..... 2 

Climate 3 

Rivers ........... 4 

Ethnology .......... 5 

II. The Hittites and other peoples of Asia Minor .... 6 

Peoples of the Sea ......... 8 

Lycians, Carians 9 

Leleges, Lydians 10 

Etruria ........... 1 1 

III. Indo-Europeans; contact with Europe . . . . . 12 

Phrygians, Paphlagonians . . . . . . . 14 

- Medes rS 

Linguistic evidence ....16 

Later invaders ......... 17 

The Celts of Asia Minor . . . . . . . . 18 



By P. Giles 

Prehistoric Europe 


European types .... 


Italy, Sicily, Albania . 

...... 24 

The Balkan peninsula . 




Home of the Indo-Europeans 


Greece, Macedonia, Thrace . 

... . . 30 

Scythians, Sarmatians, Celts . 


Red and Black Celts, Galatians 


Italic peoples .... 

..... 36 

German peoples .... 







By James Henry Breasted, Ph.D., LL.D., I fox. D.Litt. '» )x x.) 
Professor of Egyptology and Oriental History in the Ur iversiiy f i iiicag » 

L Internal conditions and administration .... 

Expulsion of the Hyksos ...... 

New military organization ..... 

Character of the administration ..... 

Duties of the vizier ....... 

Social divisions ....... 

Growth of the priesthood. ..... 

The Valley of the Kings 7 Tombs .... 

II. The expansion of the Empire to the death of Hatshepsut 
Thutmose I in Nubia and Asia ..... 

Conditions in south-western Asia .... 

The Levant ........ 

Conquests in northern Syria ..... 

Predominance of Hatshepsut ..... 

Hatshepsut’s expedition to Punt .... 

Her building enterprises ...... 

4 5 



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By J . H. Breasted 

L The consolidation of the Egyptian Empire 

The invasion of Palestine ..... 

The battle of Megiddo ..... 

The Egyptian victory 

Thutmose’s second Asiatic campaign . 

Third to sixth campaigns 

Campaign against Mitanni .... 

II. The empire of Thutmose III 

Thutmose’s monuments . 

Internal conditions in Egypt . 

Ninth to thirteenth campaigns .... 
Egyptian sovereignty in south-west Asia 
Thutmose’s character . . . . 

6 ? 



7 ^ 








By J. H. Breasted 

L Egypt mistress of the East ..... 

Revolts in Asia ...... 

Work of Amenhotep II ..... 

Thutmose IV. ...... 

Amenhotep III 

Sovereignty in Syria ..... 
Letters from Mitanni ..... 
Trade and intercourse . ... 

Relations with Crete ..... 
II. Civilization and the New Age under Amenhotep III 
Art and architecture ..... 



Queen Tiy ....... 

Scarabs of Tiy 

Troubles in Syria ...... 















By J. H. Breasted 


Pre-existing monotheistic tendencies . 
Ikhnaton’s zeal and iconociasm . 

Akhetaton; Tell el-Amarna 

The Aton cult . . . . 

Hymns to Aton ..... 
Ikhnaton’s ideas and art . 

II. The foreign situation and the fall of Ikhnaton 

The Hittite advance on Syria . 

Unrest in Mitanni and Syria . 

The Habiru . . ... 

Opposition to Ikhnaton in Egypt 
Failure of his reform .... 
The el-Amarna letters .... 
Tutenkhamon ..... 
Decay of the dynasty 

x 20 

I 2 I 





By j. H. Breasted 


I. The Predecessors of Ramses . . . . * * . .131 

The reforms of Harmhab » . . . . . .132 

His long and peaceful reign . . . . . . .134 

Sed I invades Palestine * . . . . . . .135 

Egypt recovers Syria ■ ' . . . « . . * ,136 

Achievements of Seti I in Egypt . . . . - .138 

II. The wars and foreign relations of Ramses II . . . . .139 

The Hitdte league against Egypt . . . . . .141 

Egyptian advance upon Kadesh . . . . . .142 

The battle of Kadesh . . . * . . - .143 

The Egyptian victory . . . . . . . .146 

The results . . .148 

Treaty between Egypt and the Hittites . . . . .149 

Marriage alliance . . . . . * . . .150 

III. The civilization of the age of Ramses II . . . ,151 

Building enterprises. . . . . . . . . IJ2 

Foreign intercourse . * .153 

Syrian influence in Egypt. . . , . . . ,153 

Internal conditions . . . . . . . . . 1 56 

Ethics and religion .15 8 

Personal religion and morality . * , . . " . . 160 

A new threat to Egypt .162 



By J. H. Breasted 

L Merneptah and Ramses III; the Empire on the defensive * . 164 

Unrest in the Levant . . . , . . . .165 

The great Libyan invasion . . . . . , .166 

Merneptah J s victory , . 168 

The 4 Israel’ stele . . ,169 

Internal unrest and anarchy 170 

Fresh Levantine attacks . . . . . . . .173 

Fighting on land and sea . . . . . . . .174 

The victories of Ramses III . . . . . . . 173 

Decline of Egyptian and Hittite power . . . . .176 

II. The internal decay of the Empire 177 

State of the Empire under Ramses III . . . . .178 

Decay of art . . 180 

Growth of priestly power j 8 1 

Increased wealth of the temples 182 

Internal crises. , X84 

The great harem conspiracy . * . . . . .186 




III. The last of the Ramessids and the collapse of the Empire . . 1 88 

The priest Amenhotep . . . . . . .189 

Th<? independence of the Delta. . . . . .191 

The stoiy of Wenamon .192 

Loss of Egyptian prestige in Phoenicia . . . . .194 

The supremacy of the priesthood . . . . . . 195 



By T. Eric Peet, M.A. 

Professor of Egyptology, Liverpool University 

I. Religion; Ikhnaton’s reform 196 

Comparison with the Middle Kingdom . . . . ,197 

The Book of the Dead . . . . . . . .198 

Spells 199 

Magic and morals . . .201 

Prelude to Ikhnaton’s reform 203 

Nature of the reform . . . . . . . .205 

Causes of its failure ......... 207 

Personal piety ......... 208 

General, decay of religion . . . . . . . 209 

II. Law . .210 

Criminal law . . • . . . . . . .211 

Civil law 212 

Civil actions , . . . . . . . . .214 

III. The sciences . . . . . . . . . .215 

Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . 216 

Astronomy . 2x8 

Medicine and magic . . . , . . . .219 

Diagnosis . . . ,220 

IV. Literature 221 

Comparison with the Middle Kingdom . . . . .222 

Stories and romance 223 

Hymns, letters and satires. . . . . . . .224 

Love songs . . . . . . . . .225 



By R. Campbell Thompson, M.A., F.S.A. 
Fellow of Merton College, Oxford 

L The struggle for the Mediterranean coast lands . . . 227 

The horse . . . . . . . . . . .228 

The Kassites . . . . . . . . 229 

Mitanni • . , . .230 




Egypt in Asia. . . . . . . . . .231 

The Euphrates as barrier . . . . * . . .252 

The Amarna period . . . . * . * .234 

Energy of Ashur-uballit . . . . . . . .23; 

Victories of Enlil-nirari . . . . . . . * 236 

Assyrian expansion under Adad-nirari . 2 39 

II. The Emergence of Assyria ........ 240 

Shalmaneser, Tukulri-Ninurta . . . . . . .241 

Defeats of the Kassites . . . . . . . .242 

The kudurrus . . . . . . . . 244 

The Kassite people . . . . . . , . .243 

New Babylonian dynasty . . , . . . . ,246 

Nebuchadrezzar I ........ 247 

Assyrian expansion in the north-west . . . . » .248 

Campaigns of Tiglath-pileser I . ...... 249 

Campaign to the Mediterranean . . . . . . 250 



By D. G. Hogarth, C.M.G., D.Litt. 

Keeper of the Ashmolean; Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford 

L Name, distribution, sources . 

Sources of information 

Hittite hieroglyphs .... 

II. Earliest period, Cappadocia . 

The Assyro-Cappadocian texts . 

Early Assyrian domination in Asia Minor 
Origin of the Haiti . . . 

III. The rise and fall of the Hatti Dynasty 

Conquests of Shubbiluliuma 

Invasion of Syria 

The Syrian principalities . 

Relations with Egypt 
Hattushil II . , 

The treaty with Egypt 
End of the Hattie empire . 

Invasion of hordes .... 

IV. Civilization 

Art . . . 

Lesser states of east Asia Minor 

3 53 


2 58 
2 59 

















By H. R. Hall, D.Litt., F.S.A. _ 

Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum 


I. The Keftians and the Peoples of the Sea 275 

Egyptian references to the Mediterranean * . . . .27 6 

The Minoan Keftians . . . . . . . .278 

Caphtor and Keftiu . . - . . . . . . 279 

The Peoples of the Sea . . . . . . * .281 

Lyc ians ? Achaeans . . . . . . . . .282 

IL The Philistine Migration . . .. . . . . .283 

The Pulesati . . .284 

Cherethites and Pelethites. . . . . . .285 

The identification of Caphtor . . . . . . .28 6 

The Philistines and Crete. . . . . . . .288 

III. The civilization of the Philistines in Canaan .... 289 

Scanty traces in Palestine ........ 290 

Organization, weapons . . . . . . . .291 

Pottery, architecture . . . . . . . .293 

Cultural affinities ......... 294 



By Stanley A. Cook, Litt.D. 

Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 

Introduction ........... 296 

I. The Amarna Age: Hatti and Mitanni ...... 297 

The Amama age ......... 298 

Hittites and Mitannians . . . . . . . 299 

The fate of Mitanni . ... . . . . .301 

IL Phoenicia and Amor in the Amarna Letters ..... 302 

The Amorite revolt against Egypt . . . . . .303 

The attack on Phoenicia . . . . . . . .304 

The fall of Byblus . . . . . . . . .306 

Treachery of Aziru the Amorite . . . . . .308 

III. The Lebanons and Palestine in the Amarna Letters . * . 309 

The revolt in Syria ......... 310 

The movements in central Palestine . . . . . . 312 

Jerusalem and south Palestine . . . . . . .315 

Jerusalem threatened . . ... . . . . . 316 

Period of confusion . . . . ... . .317 


xvi ii 

fV. Outline of history from fourteenth to eleventh century 
D ecline of Haiti and Egypt .... * 

V. Relations with Egypt 

The Egyptian administration ...... 

Semitic officials in the Egyptian service 
Messenger service . 

Satire of a scribe ....... 

Intercourse with Egypt .... 

Material culture in Syria ...... 

VI. Language and writing.' 

Current languages . . 

Knowledge of Babylonian ..... 

Use of the cuneiform script ..... 
Records of letters, messengers, etc. .... 

VII. Style and ideas , 

Style of the Amarna letters ..... 

Parallels in the O.T 

The Pharaoh and the gods ..... 

Religious and related ideas . 

VIII. The Deities 

Native gods of Palestine 

Astarte, Addu, Baal, Yahweh ..... 

Tendencies to monetary ...... 

Absence of Yahweh- worship ..... 




32 r 
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33 S 

35 s 

By S. A. Cook 

L The Old Testament Narrative 

The Biblical history .... 

Its general character . , 

Scanty external confirmation 

II. The account of the Exodus and the Conquest 

The patriarchs as settlers .... 
Variant traditions of Exodus and Conquest . 
Moses and Aaron . ... 

The Kadesh traditions .... 
Edomite and Israelite interrelations , 

III. The account of the rise of the Monarchy . 

The prelude to its rise 

Conflicting traditions . . . 

Traditions of Saul and David . 

Complexity of the traditions . . 

IV. Palestine, Phoenicia and the Philistines 

Pre-Mitannian period 

Rise of Phoenicia . . . 

Significance of Philistia .... 

3 52 






3 6 5 













V. Israel, Judah and King Saul . . . . . . .381 

Tendencies of the Biblical history . . . . . . 383 

Archaeology and criticism . . . . . . .384 

The age of the ‘ Judges’ . . . . . . . .386 

Importance of Shechem . . . , . . . .387 

Saul and his wars on the south . . . . . . . 389 

Relations between central and south Palestine . . . .390 

VI. David and Solomon . . ..... . 392 

Judah and Edom ......... 393 

The Davidic idea 394 

David, Solomon and Jerusalem. . . . . . .396 

VII. Some contemporary ideas . 397 

Ideas of ‘righteousness 5 398 

Ikhnaton’s reform and Palestine . . . . . .399 

Ideas of Right and Order ........ 400 

Significance of the ideas of the period 402 

The rise of Yahwism ........ 404 

Truth of idea rather than of fact ...... 406 



By H. R. Hall 

I. Historical development; architecture, sculpture, etc. . . . 407 

Relations between the New and the Middle Empire . . . 409 

Sculpture of the XVIIIth Dynasty 410 

* Portraiture and caricature . .4x2 

Funerary art: ushabtis and scarabs . . . . . .414 

II. Small art, costume, pottery, etc. . . . . . . .4x 5 

Scarabs, inlays . . . . . . . . .416 

Glazes, glass . . « . . . ... .417 

Carved ivory and wood . . . . . . .419 

Costume and toilet . . . . . . . . .420 

Textiles and leather- work. . . . . . .423 

Woodwork, pottery. . . . . . . . .424 

III. Syria and the East ......... 426 

Art in Syria, Cilicia and Cyprus . . . . . .427 

Hittite and Assyrian art . . . . . . . .428 

Later Assyrian art . . . . . . . . 430 

By A. J. B. Wace, M.A. 

Formerly Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge; Late Director of the British 
School of Archaeology, Athens 

I. Crete : Late Minoan I . . ... . . . . .431 

Palaces of Cnossus and Phaestus ... . . . 43 2 

Minoan art . . . . . . . . . 434 




Minoan costume . . - . * « * . .4 36 

Extent of Minoan influence . - . . » . .437 

Crete and Egypt . . 4 3 8 

1L Crete: Late Minoan II. ......... 4 3 9 

Character of the- culture 440 

III. The fall of Crete: Late Minoax III ...... 441 

Cause of Cretan supremacy ........ 44.2 

Fall of Minoan power ........ 4.1,3 

Character of the culture . . . . . . . .444 

Transition to the Iron Age ....... 446 

IV. The Cyclades . „ . . . . . . . .44b 

Relations with Crete ........ 44 q 

V. The Greek Mainland: Mycenae . . . « . .430 

Cretan influence 431 

Shaft-graves of Mycenae . . . . . . .432 

Bee-hive tombs . . . . . . . .433 

VI. The supremacy of Mycexae * . . . . . . .436 

The palace and citadel of Mycenae . 437 

The palace and citadel of Tiryns . . . . . .438 

Spread of Mycenaean culture . . . . . . .459 

Mycenaean life ......... 460 

Pottery of the period ........ 464 

Religion and burial ......... 46 3 

Decay of Mycenae ......... 466 

The Dorian invasion . . . , . . . . 467 

VII. Thessaly, Macedonia and Troy ....... 4,68 

Problems of Thessalian pottery . . . . . r . . 469 

Local culture .47c 

Troy . 47 1 

The coming of the Iron Age . . , . . . .472 


By J. B. Bury, M.A., F.B.A. 

Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge 

I. Achaean Greece . .473 

Theory of invasion from the north . . . . . .474 

Spread of the Achaeans . .473 

The Pelasgians . . . . . . . . .476 

Wars of Argos and Thebes . . . . . . .477 

The heroic age . . . . . . . .478 

The Homeric catalogue 479 

Supremacy of Mycenae . .482 

Political organization . . . . . . . .483 

Character of society. . . . . . . . 434 

Minstrelsy, language, religion 48 ^ 

Pirac 7 ! 486 




II. The Trojan War . . . . . . . . 487 

The Dardanians . . . . . . . . .488 

The fortress of Troy ........ 489 

Resources of Trojan kings . . . . . . .491 

Causes of Trojan war . . . . . . . 492 

Criticism of the story ........ 494 

Historical elements . . . . . . . . .495 

Sequel to the fall of Troy. ....... 496 

Pelopids and Perseids; the Trojan era . . . . .497 

By J. B. Bury 

I. The Homeric Poems ......... 498 

Plot of the Iliad ......... 499 

The Epic cycle ......... 500 

II. The Homeric controversy . 502 

D’Aubignac and Wolf ........ 503 

Theories of Expansion: Grote 504 

U. von Wilamowitz-MollendoriF 505 

The postulates underlying the theories ..... 506 

The date of Homer. ........ 507 

Antiquity of writing . . . . . . . .508 

Language of the Epics . . . . . . . .509 

III. Historical traditions in the Iliad . . . . . .510 

Historical reality of the heroes . . . . . . .511 

Consistent archaism in Homer 513 

Homer’s material . . . . , . . . .514 

The Olympian machinery . . . . . . . 5 1 5 

The role of the gods . . . . . . . 517 



By H. T. Wade-Gery, M.A., M.C. 

Fellow and Tutor, Wadham College, Oxford 

L The Traditions: linguistic evidence 518 

The evidence of the dialects . 519 

II. A TRANSITIONAL PERIOD . . . . . . . . J 20 

Geometric art . . . ... . . . 521 

From Mycenaean to Geometric 522 

Evidence of iron, etc. ........ 524 

III. The Dorian Tribes . . . . . . . . .525 

The story of Aegimius . . . . . . . .526 

Aegimius in Thessaly . . . . . . *527 

Dorians in Crete and Rhodes . . . . . . .528 

Origin of the Dorians . . . . . . . 530 



IV. The Conquest . . * * * - - * 53 1 

‘The Return of die Heraclids’ . * , . » * - 533 

Corinth, Megara . - * - * * • * .534 

Aegina, Sparta * * ’535 

Arcadia. * . • * * • - * 536 

Arcadian and Dorian colonization * . . . * * 537 

V. Sparta . . - * * . * - • * « * 5 $ 8 

Capture of Amydae . - * . * * * >39 

Perioikoi and Helots . . ■ . • * * . 34° 

Pylos, Messenia . . . - * . • « .541 


By D. G. Hogarth 

I. The main traditions .... 

Several stages of settlement 
Different social phases 
The Ionian Migration 

The dates 

Mall us and Troy .... 

II. The resistance of Ionia and its cause . 

Early Anatolian monarchies 
Asiatic origin of Humanism 
Pre-Ionian civilization 
Early colonies 

III. The earlier ‘Caro-Lelecian’ civilization 

Archaeological evidence . 

Leleges and Carians 
Phoenician influence 

IV. T he Process of Settlement . 

Secondary colonization . 

Milesian colonies .... 

Motive of colonization . 



By Professor Peet, Dr Thomas Ashby, D.Litt., F.S.A., Director of the British 
School at Rome, and E. Thurlow Leeds, M.A., F.S.A., Assistant Keeper of the 
Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 1 

I. Italy and Sicily . . 563 

Early traces of man 03 

Sergi’s ‘Mediterranean Race’ . . . . . . . 564 

Neolithic civilization 565 

1 Professor Peet is mainly responsible for Sections I and V, Dr Ashby for Sections II 
and III, both for Section VI, and Mr Leeds for Section IV. 







55 ° 

55 * 









Copper Age . . . . . 

Bronze Age; new influences . . 

Tli €Terremare ...... 

Bronze Age in Sicily ..... 

Transition to Early Iron Age . 

Etruscan civilization . . . . . 

The Latian tombs . . . . . 

II. The Maltese Islands and North Africa 

Prehistoric Malta ...... 

Neolithic period, Hal-Tarxien .... 

Hal-Saflieni ....... 

Bronze Age in Malta ..... 

North Africa, connections with West Mediterranean 
Physical types ... . . . 

III. Sardinia, Corsica and the Balearic Islands . 

The megaliths of Sardinia .... 

The nuraghl ....... 

Bronze and Minoan Ages .... 

IV. The Iberian Peninsula ..... 

Lower palaeolithic and Capsian periods 
Iberian influence on neolithic culture 
Transition to Bronze Age .... 
The megaliths and their distribution . 

Doubtful relations with the Levant . 

V. France and the British Isles .... 

Neolithic period in France .... 
Megaliths of Brittany ..... 
The La Tene culture . . . . 

Neolithic and early Bronze Ages in England 
Origin of the physical types .... 

VI. The Megalith-builders ..... 

Origin of west European megaliths . 

The ‘migration I. * * * 5 * * and other theories . 

Theory of Iberian origin ..... 




















5 8 7 



59 r 










By W. R. Hallxday, B.Litt. 

Rathbone Professor of Ancient History in the University of Liverpool 

I. The general characteristics of Greek polytheism . . . . 602 

Multiplicity of gods. . . . . . . . 603 

Homer and Hesiod ........ 604 

Combined influence of poetry and art . . 606 

II. Greek myths and the worship of powers of nature . . . 607 

Interpretations of mythology .608 

Slight personification of powers of nature 610 

Earth-cult 61 1 



III. Aegean and Indo-European elements in Greek religion 

Aegean religion 

Cretan colts ....... 

Orgiastic cults ...... 

Aegean, survivals ...... 

The goddesses ...... 

Lycaean Zeus ...... 

IV. Primitive survivals ...... 

Human sacrifice ...... 

Its mitigation ....... 

Cult of animals ...... 

Theriomorphism ...... 

V. Homeric religion . , 

Ethical characteristics ..... 

The priests and sacrifice ..... 


Cults of the dead ...... 

VI. The Olympian gods ...... 

Zeus ........ 

Hera, Poseidon 

Apollo ........ 

Artemis ........ 

Athena . 


Hermes, Hephaestus ..... 

Ares, Aphrodite . , . . . . 

VII. Political aspects of Greek religion . 

City and other communal cults .... 
Religious policy of the Tyrants .... 
Persistence of the old religion .... 








6 1 B 
















'■'3 5 









Chapter I . . . ... 

Chapter II . . . . . 

Chapters III — VIII 

Chapter IX 

Chapter X . . . , 

Chapter XI . . 

Chapter XII . . . . . 

Chapter XIII . . . . 

Chapter XIV 

Chapter XV 

Chapter XVI . 

Chapter XVII . . . . . 

Chapter XVIII. ... 

Chapter XIX . . . . 

Chapter XX , . . 

Chapter XXI . ..... 

Chapter XXII . . . . 




6 59 
66 r 



68 $ 












1. Map of Egypt and the Ancient World .... facing 80 

2. The Asiatic Empire of Egypt ..... „ 96 

3. Egypt after the Egyptian Monuments of the 1 5th-! 3th cent. 

b.c. Syria and the Amarna Letters .... „ 144 

4. Assyria and Babylonia ....... „ 250 

5. Sketch Map of the Hittite Area . . . . . „ 272 

6. Upper Egypt, Sinai and South Palestine . . . . „ 352 

7. Palestine: The Israelite Tribes ..... „ 368 

8. Physical Map of Palestine ...... „ 406 

9. Achaean Greece and its Neighbours .... „ 474 

10. The Peloponnesus c. 1200 b.c. ..... „ 478 

11. Central and Northern Greece ..... „ 480 

12. Asia Minor ........ „ 544 

13. The Mediterranean Basin ...... „ 562 

14. Italy (and Sicily) from the Palaeolithic to the Early Iron 

A g e » 574 

15. Malta, Gozo „ 578 

Plans : The battle of Megiddo ........ 69 

The battle of Kadesh . 145 

Cnossus ......... FACING 450 

T * r 7 ns 

Mycenae ........ „ „ 

Plain of Troy. . . . . . . . „ 496 




¥N the period upon which we are about to enter, the peoples of 
Ji. south-west Asia, Egypt and south-east Europe were brought 
into very close contact one with another. Peaceful trading-journeys, 
ambitious wars by land and by sea, and some sweeping ethnical 
movements, which had the profoundest consequences for history, 
made the area virtually one inter-connected whole. The history 
of no portion of this whole can properly be viewed quite apart 
from the rest, although naturally it will be necessary to treat 
each part by itself, and with reference to its own peculiar develop- 
ment and problems. The available sources, moreover, although 
by no means inconsiderable in quantity, vary greatly as regards 
quality; both the archaeological and the written materials are 
often difficult to interpret, or are susceptible of different inter- 
pretations, and may be treated from different points of view. 
Further, the far-reaching political and other changes which 
mark this perfod can be best understood only by taking a wider 
survey, of the interrelations between Asia, Africa and Europe 
which illumine the particular vicissitudes now to be described. 
To a certain extent this has already been done in volume i (see 
especially chapters x, n and v). Accordingly, the chapters in this 
volume are drawn up so as to assist the reader to grasp the period 
and the area as a whole, and also in their various parts and aspects, 
though at the unavoidable cost of some repetition and overlapping. 

Once more (see vol. x, p. 181) the history of Egypt holds the 
premier position, owing mainly to its relations with south-west 
Asia and the peoples of the East Mediterranean. But Asia 
Minor now assumes a unique significance, partly because, as the 
bridge between Europe and Asia, it was the centre of the most 
intricate developments of the period, and partly also because 
the rich store of cuneiform tablets discovered at Boghaz Keui, 
and the problems of the ‘Hittites,’ and all their ramifications 
are proving to be of more fundamental importance than could 
ever have been suspected. Accordingly, chapters on the peoples 
of Asia Minor and of Europe form an appropriate introduction, 
and deal with linguistic problems, and with certain important 

C.A.H. n 







It is still too early to claim that the history of the peoples of 
Asia Minor may be written with certainty. Rarely crossed by 
European travellers since the Turkish conquest till the nineteenth 
century, and still more rarely by scholars desirous to learn its 
distant past and competent to judge of what they saw, it may be 
said that Asia Minor was first revealed to the world by the French 
traveller Texier, and by the British geologist \Y. j. Hamilton, 
who started on his memorable expedition in 1835. Since then, 
French, German and English scholars have been diligent in the 
study of its geographical features and of its antiquities. But the 
excavation of the site of Troy was the first attempt on a large 
scale to widen our knowledge with the help of the spade. To 
America by the excavation in recent times of Sardes and to Ger- 
many by the unearthing of the records of the ancient Anatolian 
Empire at Boghaz Keui has fallen the glory of revealing its 
history in days when Greek commerce and Greek language had 
not yet conquered the vast area that lies between the Black Sea 
and the Gulf of Alexandretta, between the Aegean and the 
mountains of Anti-Taurus and Armenia. 

To the ancients indeed the bounds of the peninsula towards 
the east were vague and uncertain. Strabo proposed to draw a 
line from the eastern end of the plain of Tarsus to Sinope or 
Amisus (Samsun) on the Black Sea 1 . Such a line would form no 
proper geographical boundary, though at an earlier period such 
a division might have commended itself to the Greeks, who felt 
that with the winding Halys ended even vague knowledge of the 
interior of the peninsula. 

Geographically Asia Minor is a curious land. If one may use 
a homely image, the peninsula may be compared to a gigantic 
inverted pie-dish, the bottom of which is surrounded by a raised 
foot. The narrow lip of the inverted vessel is raised but little above 
sea-level. Behind rises the body of the dish to an average height 
of 3000 to 3500 feet, and surrounding this is the foot formed on 
the south by the great Taurus range, and continued to the north-east 
by Anti-Taurus. This mighty rampart the invader has generally 
found invincible. The Cilician Gates above Tarsus are an entrance 
and an exit made by human hands, and, being unapproachable by a 
host in days before artillery, were not difficult to hold by a small 

1 Strabo, xiv, p. 664. 



but determined force. A slight change of ground for the defenders 
still leaves the pass impregnable. The last invaders of the penin- 
sula who have made good its possession — the Turks — came in to 
it by the mountains of Armenia far to the east. The range of 
Amanus which forms the dividing line between the plain of 
Tarsus in Cilicia and Syria is less formidable. Access also from 
Mesopotamia is not difficult, and the powerful states of that 
region at an early period availed themselves of this route to the 
metal-working areas near the Black Sea. 

On the north side, though the interior is cut off from the sea 
by similar though lower ranges of mountains, the foot is neither 
so continuous nor so difficult of access. O21 the north-west and the 
west the peninsula is more vulnerable. From the plain of Troy or 
along the valleys of the Hermus and the Maeander lay the routes 
for trade and for war. The Crusaders with Godfrey gathered at 
Dorylaeum (Eski-Shehr); Cyrus the younger started from Sardes 
on the Hermus for his expedition to distant Babylon against 
his brother Artaxerxes; and at Celaenae, the later Apamea, 
Alexander’s forces converged when they were to set out upon the 
conquest of the Persian Empire to its farthest eastern bounds. 

The climatic conditions of the great central plateau of Asia 
Minor are very different from those of its coast lands. Its rivers 
descending from the lofty heights of the table-land bring down 
with them great quantities of solid matter, which in the course of 
ages have extended the coast line far out to sea, and produced a 
low-lying, marshy, and malarious area at the foot of the steep 
slopes which ascend to the central plain. The island of Lade, off 
which the Greeks and Persians fought a battle in 494 b.c., 
is now a hill some miles inland. The central plain is to a large 
extent treeless and better suited for pasture than for agriculture. 
The climate of this area is continental; the summers are hot and 
the winters severe. The slopes which border the southern side of 
the Black Sea, on the other hand, form one of the most beautiful 
countries in the world, rich in forest, in fruit trees and in flowering 
plants. East of Trebizond the rhododendron and the azalea, here 
upon their native soil, blossom in the greatest profusion. The 
alluvial soil of the western shores is deep and rich, a land fit for 
the growth and maintenance of great cities which could draw to 
themselves the wealth in corn and wool of the hinterland, and 
well provided with harbours from which daring mariners might 
carry to north and south and west the rich products which had 
accumulated in their towns. On the south the plain of Cilicia was 
probably always unwholesome from its malarious marshes, but it 




was important as connecting Asia Minor with its southern neigh- 
bours, Syria and Palestine. 

By far the most important of the rivers of Asia M ; m >r was the 
Halys (now the Irmak or Red River), which, rising in the 
mountains of the lesser Armenia, runs for some distance in a 
westerly direction, almost parallel to the Euphrates, and having 
made a tremendous curve to the south-west turns gradually 
northwards and finds its way to the Black Sea some thirty or 
forty miles to the north-west of Sam sun. Of less importance are 
other northward-flowing rivers, the Iris, east of the I lalys, formed 
by the junction of the ancient Scylax and Lycus and, much 
farther to the west, the Sangarius which, emptying itself into the 
Black Sea some sixty or seventy miles east of the Bosporus, seems 
to make the eastern boundary of Homer’s knowledge. From its 
banks Priam of Troy brought Hecuba to be his bride and there 
he fought against the mysterious women warriors, the Amazons, 
whose legend in the lands east of the Halys is not even now extinct. 

Apart from the Halys the most important of Anatolian rivers 
are those which flow westwards. The Simois and Scamander of 
Troy "would have had no importance in the world had it not been 
that the Homeric epic of the tale of Troy centred on their banks. 
The Calais flowing south-westwards not far from the later Per- 
gamum; the Hermus traversing a comparatively narrow valley 
on the southern slope of which stood Sardes the capital- of the 
Lydian Empire and Magnesia near Mount Sipylus, and entering 
a bay on the southern side of which stood Smyrna; the Cayster 
through marshes famed for water-fowl reaching the sea at Ephesus; 
the Maeander pouring through a broad valley studded on either 
side by famous cities — all these play an important part in Greek 
history and legend. In the mountainous country' of Lycia the 
rivers are naturally shorter and less important. Through pic- 
turesque gorges the Sarus (Seihun) and the Pyramus (Jihun) 
break out into the Cilician plain which owes its extent to them, 
though they are too swift to be of use for the exploitation of the 
mountainous country inland. 

In this mountainous country volcanic rocks, through which 
run veins of valuable metals, rise here and there amid the prevalent 
limestone of the peninsula. Probably the earliest inroads into Asia 
which history as yet records are those of enterprising traders 
from Mesopotamia, who have left behind them evidence in 
pottery and inscriptions of their presence more than twenty 
centuries before Christ. At Kultepe, south of the great bend of 
the Halys near Caesarea Mazaca, there seems to have been an 


emporium for the iron forged by the Chalybes far to the north on 
the slopes nearer to the Black Sea between Samsun and Trebizond, 
a mysterious people living in dens and caves of the earth, 
giving rise to legends of mysterious dwarfs, and supplying the 
Greeks with a name for steel, which seems to have become known 
to them first from this area. This country is rich in minerals. 
Strabo speculates on the relation between the name of the 
Chalybes and Alybe, whence according to Homer was the origin 
of silver 1 . It is possible in the case of foreign names that the 
phonetic laws of Greek did not hold and that some connection 
did exist. In modern times a relation has been seen between Alybe 
and the word silver, and the existence according to Pliny of a 
river Sidenum and a tribe of Sideni, to which Strabo adds a town 
Side, suggests that here also may be the origin of Sideros , the 
Greek word for iron, the etymology of which is unknown 2 . 

It is probable that, from the earliest times, on the central plains 
at least and extending down into the mountainous country to the 
south-west was a population with a striking physiognomy which 
is still common amongst the Armenian population of to-day. Of 
this population the special characteristics are a prominent nose 
in line with a forehead receding and rising to an unusual height. 
How far this ^strange configuration of head is natural and how 
far increased by the practice of mothers to tie very tightly round 
the heads of their babies a towel, which when soaked in water 
exercises great pressure upon the tender bones of infancy, is still 
a matter of dispute amongst experts. Probably art has only in- 
creased the sloping forehead given by nature, and the Hittite 
warriors of the fourteenth century b.c. and the Armenians of to-day 
have the same characteristic profile. It may be fairly assumed that 
the rich coast-lands drew from very early times invaders to 
establish themselves, and throughout history we find on the sea- 
level a population differing from that which holds the great 
central plain, much as along the eastern shore of the Adriatic 
the coast population has generally differed from that of the inland 
country high above it. The pastoral people of the plateau, how- 
ever, must in early times have been to some extent migratory 
because of the difficulty of keeping their flocks alive during the 
stress of winter. Just as to this day the sheep of the highlands of 
Scotland migrate to the lowlands in winter where food is more 
plentiful and accessible, so in Asia Minor the primitive Anatolian 

1 Strabo, xn, p. 549; Iliad, n, 857. 

2 Pliny, N.H. vi, 11; Strabo, xrx, p. 548. Sayce (C.R. 1922, p. 19) 
suggests that ^aX«o? may be derived from Khalki whence copper came. 



shepherd must have moved towards the coast in the winter season. 
Geographical conditions tend to produce the same results in 
distant ages, and the migratory Yiirttks of modern times, though 
nominally of an alien stock, really only reproduce the practice of 
the primitive age. In both periods the development of a strong 
people along the coast was bound to hamper and ultimately to 
limit in a great degree the ancient summer and winter migrations 
of the flocks. 


This country of Asia Minor, ever since history began, has been 
a country of passage between East and West, and its whole history 
is a record of migrations to and fro across it from Central Asia to 
Europe or from Europe to Central Asia, Afghanistan and India. 
Out of the aboriginal people seems to have grown the mighty 
empire of the Hittites, who, though known to us from the O.T. 
as settled in Palestine, were only, as we now learn, immigrants 
into that area and had their home much farther to the north. In 
the area where we find them prominent in the earliest times there 
was a people known to the Greeks of the Roman period as the 
White Syrians (AevKocrvpot). The epithet White was apparently 
given to them to distinguish them from the Phoenicians or Red 
Syrians, and it is noticeable that in Egyptian art the Hittites are 
represented as of a paler colour than the red Phoenicians. 

The ethnological and philological relations of this stock are still 
uncertain. The kings of Babylon, according to legend, were in touch 
with them nearly 3000 years before Christ. From Tell el-Amarna 
and from Assyria come two fragments which relate the story of 
the campaign made by Sargon I into Cappadocia in the third year 
of his reign, in order to relieve the Babylonian colony of traders 
at Ganesh (Kanes) from the attacks of the king of Burushkhanda. 
In Ganesh we recognize the modern Kliltepe, a colony which had 
been founded by the city of Kish in southern Babylonia. Sargon’s 
date is fixed about 2850 b.c. Some 600 years later are dated the 
cuneiform inscriptions found at Kultepe, which were the records 
of a business house in the colony. From about 1800 b.c. the 
Hittites come more fully into the light of history. 

Since the beginning of the archaeological exploration of Asia 
Minor stone carvings of a very characteristic kind have been 
found in. various parts. Some are obviously under the influence 
of Assyrian art but others bear a distinctive character of their 
own. One of the largest known and one of the most striking, 


though also probably one of the latest in date, is the famous rock 
carving of Ivriz, in a gorge ascending from the Lycaonian plain 
not many rpiles from Eregli. There is represented a scene of a 
king clothed in an embroidered robe and a mantle, in an attitude 
of supplication before a larger and sturdier figure, which obviously 
represents a deity of vegetation, for in his right hand he holds a 
vine branch with three great clusters of grapes, and in his left he 
grasps a handful of ears of corn. On the rock between the face of 
the deity and the upheld corn ears is an inscription in the peculiar 
hieroglyphics which we now know to be of the Hittites. The 
dress of the god is simpler than that of his worshipper, being a 
tunic with a downward curving hem making a point in front. 
Round his waist he wears an ornamental girdle. Both figures 
have thick curly hair reaching to the nape of the neck and curly 
beards. Experts assign these figures to the eighth century b.c. 
To a much earlier period belong some figures of the Sun-god 
Teshub, with a curly beard well known in Assyrian sculpture, but 
with his hair in a long queue under a bell-shaped cap. He too 
wears a tunic with a belt in which is thrust a sword. Round the 
tunic runs an ornamental hem and on his feet he has shoes with 
upturned toes. In his right hand the god wields a battle-axe and 
in his left he holds the symbol of the lightning, which might be 
compared to a scourge with three thongs. 

For the history of the Hittites before the fifteenth century b.c. 
our information is very scanty, but it would seem that gradually 
they pushed down into the valley of the Euphrates on the one 
side, and into western Syria and Palestine on the other. The later 
Assyrians have indeed been well described as Hittites who had 
adopted the civilization of Babylon. Their pressure along the 
Mediterranean coast brought them in time into contact with 
Egypt, whose conquests were spreading upwards from the south. 
From the annals of Thutmose III we learn that he more than 
once received presents from the princes of Kheta and we can still 
see the representations of envoys bringing gifts and of subject 
princes of Keftiu and Kheta. The details belong to the history of 
Egypt, see pp. 77, 82. In later centuries a Hittite kingdom 
existed with its centre at Carchemish, but its importance was 
secondary and in 717 b.c. it succumbed finally to the Assyrians. 

Ramses II is said to have subdued the ‘Peoples of the Sea’, a 
vague title which it is hardly possible as yet to define with 
accuracy. It is clear that these people were not merely raiding 
brigands, but migrated from land to land with all their belongings, 
their wives and children, much as the Gauls of a later date attacked 


and occupied, for a time at least, various parts of Europe and 
even of Asia (see chap. xn). Their name survives in the mysterious 
peoples whom the Greeks called Pelasgoi (IleXaa-yot). .The term is 
a quite regular derivative from the stem of rreXay os the sea, and 
the ending -kos, frequently employed in tribal names. To the 
Greeks themselves these peoples were, in later times, nothing but 
a name. They identified them on the coast of Thrace, in Lemnos, 
in Attica at the very foot of the Acropolis, in north-west Greece, 
in Crete, in Italy and other places. But what tongue they spoke, 
whence they came, or whither they went, they were entirely 
unable to tell. In the time of Herodotus the Pelasgians were still 
to be found in Thrace in the neighbourhood of the Hellespont. 
Their language Herodotus regarded as non-Greek. In the Athen- 
ians and Ionians he saw a Pelasgian people who had become 
Hellenized 1 . In truth it was not unnatural that the ancients should 
not be able to define the race or the language of the Pelasgians, 
for like other rovers of ancient and modern times they were 
probably neither of one race nor of one speech. Thus they are no 
doubt accurately described in the Great Karnak inscription by 
the Egyptians as ‘northerners coming from all lands 2 .’ 

In the letters from Tell el-Amarna before the middle of the 
fourteenth century b.c. mention is made of certain tribes, Danuna, 
Shardina, Shakalsha, which with greater or less certainty have 
been identified with Greek Danai, men of Sardes or of Sardinia, 
and men of Sagalassus, north of Pisidia. In the reign of Ramses II 
(about 1290 B.c.) they have become very formidable and in com- 
bination with the Hittites and other foes are a serious danger to 
Egypt. The identifications, in the imperfect Egyptian method of 
writing the names, are again necessarily uncertain. But with fair 
probability there may be distinguished Lycians, Cilicians, Dar- 
dani presumably from Troy-land, and more doubtfully men from 
Mysia and Pedasus. Ramses II was successful in staving off the 
evil day when Egyptian decadence must submit to foreign con- 
quest. Before many years had passed, his son king Merneptah found 
he had a still more formidable coalition of foreign foes to meet. 
ForsometimeLibyan tribes had been occupying thewestern Delta. 
Now they are backed by a strong alliance in which the Lycians 
appear as before. The Shardina, to be identified with Sardinians, 
who had been mercenaries of Ramses II, are now opposed to the 
Egyptians, and with them come Tursha, who are held to be 
Etruscans, and Akaiwasha, Greek Achaeans. If the Shakalsha 
of the fourteenth century were men of Sagalassus, unless there 

1 Herod. 1, 56. 2 Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, in, p. 241. 



had meantime been some western migration, it is difficult to 
identify them with the Sikels of Sicily. See further, chap. xn. 

To the incursions of these mysterious sea-folk we probably 
owe it that some of the names of peoples which are known to us 
in early times have in later days ceased to be familiar. In the 
mountainous country of south-west Asia Minor it would not be 
surprising if there were relics of several races which had suc- 
ceeded one another, each newcomer in turn subdued by a later. 
The name however of Lycia is old, and Egyptian scholars argue 
that in the Ruku of Egyptian monuments are to be found the 
ancient Lycians who, along with other sea-folk, had fought against 
the Egyptians and been taken captive. But even so, Herodotus 
recognized a still more ancient name of the country in Milyas, 
and earlier inhabitants in the Solymi and Termilai or Tremilai 1 . 
These tribes were regarded as being extremely ancient, for to 
Bellerophon was ascribed the change of the name of Tremilai 
into Lycians. Yet even in the time of Herodotus the name Termilai 
was still familiar. In the later population scholars are inclined to 
see a stock that had migrated from the island of Crete, which the 
poet of the Odyssey , or his interpolator, recognized as a land of 
ninety cities in which were many peoples and among them 
the Pelasgoi 2 . Wild as this corner of Asia is, it has preserved more 
records, in the form of non-Greek inscriptions, than any other 
district as yet of the western littoral of Asia Minor. But though 
the inscriptions are numerous, it cannot be said that they throw 
light upon the origins of the language, which, after discussions 
protracted over many years, cannot certainly be referred to any 
of the known families of language. In many respects the Lycian 
customs resembled those of the Carians, but in one they were con- 
spicuously different. The Lycians counted kin through the mother, 
legitimatized the offspring of the union between a woman who was 
a citizen and a slave, and deprived of rights the children of a 
male citizen and a slave woman 3 . 

Their next neighbours, the Carians, were somewhat more for- 
tunate, for in them were recognized by the ancients — and their 
statement is not disputed by the moderns — a population extending 
over many of the islands which in later times were Greek, and 
believed at one time to have occupied the mainland of Greece 
itself. In the days of Thucydides graves opened by the Athenians 
for the purification of the island of Delos showed, according to 
the historian, skeletons of which more than half were recognized 
by the armour buried with them and by the form of burial as 
1 i, 173; cf.p. 282 below. 2 Odyssey, xix, 175 sqq. 3 Herod.i, 173. 



being Carians 1 . Whatever its origin, this also was a lighting stock 
which supplied mercenaries to Asiatic and Egyptian potentates, 
and most of the little that we know of the Carian -language is 
drawn from the names scratched in an idle hour upon monuments 
on the banks of the upper Nile. In Cana also there seems to have 
been a mixture of populations. The people of Caunus, in the eyes 
of Herodotus, were natives of the soil, while, according to him, 
the Carians came to the mainland from the islands. There, in the 
time of Minos, they were called Leleges and lived free of tribute, 
having no duty but to man his ships when Minos called upon 
them so to do 2 . The people of Caunus also claimed, like the 
Lycians, that they came from Crete. But this is hardly likely if, 
as says the historian, who himself came from the Carian coast, 
their customs differed from those of every other people. 

The relation between Leleges and Carians is no less difficult 
(see below, p. 27). According to Herodotus, Leleges was but an 
old name of the Carians by which they were called when they 
occupied the islands 3 . On the other hand, it is not unlikely that 
Philip of Theangela, himself a native of Caria, was right in 
declaring that the Leleges stood in the same relation to the 
Carians as the Helots to their Lacedaemonian masters and the 
Penestae to their Thessalian overlords 4 . In spite of the lateness of 
the authority, it seems not at all unlikely that in Caria as in Greece 
there was an early population reduced to serfdom by later in- 
comers. With the Carians Herodotus classes the Lydians and 
Mysians, assuring us that they had a common worship at the 
temple of the Carian Zeus at Mylasa in Caria; Lydus and Mysus, 
the eponymous heroes of the Lydians and the Mysians, being 
brothers of Car, the founder of the Carians. Even Strabo, who 
agrees with Herodotus that the Carians, when they were subjects 
of Minos in the islands, were called Leleges, admits that when 
they occupied the mainland of Asia they took from Leleges and 
Pelasgoi mainly the lands which they held henceforth 5 . 

More important for the part they played in the seventh and 
sixth centuries b.c. were the Lydians. In Homer, however, the 
name of the Lydians is entirely unknown, their place being taken 
by the Maeonians 6 . Homer links Maeonia with Phrygia and in a 
simile of the Iliad speaks of the Maeonian or Carian woman 
staining ivory with red to be the cheek-piece of a bridle 7 . In 
the tenth book of the Iliad Lycians, Mysians, Phrygians and 

1 Thuc. 1, 8, 1. 2 Herod, x, 171. 

8 Herod. 1, 171. 4 Athenaeus, vi, 271b (F.H.G. iv, 475). 

5 Strabo, xiv, 27, p. 661. 6 Iliad, 111,401, 7 ' Iliad, xv, 142. 



Maeonians are encamped together 1 . Unfortunately the results of 
the American excavations at Sardes, so far as yet published, have 
not thrown $o much light as was expected upon the history of the 
Lydians. But here, as elsewhere on this coast, it may be con- 
jectured that the Maeonians were an earlier people subdued and 
ultimately assimilated by the Lydians. Some Maeonians, however, 
were still important enough to be distinguished in Xerxes’ army 
from the Lydians. Their military equipment was like that of the 
Cilicians. Pliny says that there were still Maeonians at the foot 
of Tmolus on the river Cogamus at no great distance from Sardes, 
which was their legal centre 2 . Whence the Lydians may have 
come cannot as yet be determined. The country was one to tempt 
the invader, for, besides the richness of the long river valley, 
gold dust was obtained from Mount Tmolus. Herodotus could 
discover little in the customs of the people to distinguish them 
from the Greeks, except for one curious practice of the common 
people, among whom daughters earned their own dowries as 
courtesans. He regards the people as extremely enterprising, 
the first to coin gold and silver and the first to engage in mer- 
chandise 3 . They were of an inventive turn of mind, for to them 
Herodotus assigns the discovery of all games except draughts. 

Most important of all his statements regarding them is his 
circumstantiaf account of their colonization of Etruria. No state- 
ment in Herodotus has been perhaps more hotly disputed. But 
after long discussion no other view, to say the least, appears more 
plausible. From the inscriptions already published from Sardes 
it is impossible to say that Lydian and Etruscan are very closely 
related, though they have undoubtedly a superficial resemblance. 
Here we must wait for further information. But there is one point 
of resemblance which has been but little noticed. The Lydians, 
it is well known, had a great passion for jewellery. From the 
plates in the British Museum Catalogue of Ancient Jewellery it 
is very clear that there was an intimate relation between the 
jewellery of Ionia, influenced by Lydia, and the jewellery of 
Etruria. Both are characterized by figures of lions and a lion- 
taming goddess and the frequent use of the Sphinx and of female 
heads probably representing a goddess 4 . A further item is added 
to the complexity of the problem by the bas-relief found in Lemnos 
and first published in 1886, which shows a striking bust of a 

1 Iliad , X, 430 sq. 

2 Herod, vii, 74, 77; Pliny, N.H. v, 1 1 1, where they are called Maeonii, 

not Maeones. 3 Herod. 1, 93 sq. 

4 See F. H. Marshall, Introduction to B.M. Catalogue , p. xxv sq. 



warrior holding a spear with a leaf-shaped head. I wo inscriptions 
in an unknown tongue are written alongside in an archaic form 
of the Greek alphabet. Here, again, the language, though unknown, 
has a still more striking resemblance to Etruscan. Till more light 
can be obtained upon this perplexing problem we may adhere to 
the belief that the Lydians, the Etruscans, and the authors of 
these remarkable Lemnian inscriptions were part of the ‘Peoples 
of the Sea’ whom the Greeks vaguely called Pelasgoi, and we may 
believe that in Lydia and in Etruria they established themselves 
on great mainland territories, possibly from an island home. The 
detailed investigation of these facts is a matter rather for Com- 
parative Philology than for History, and till greater agreement 
among authorities is attained it would be idle to draw serious 
historical conclusions from them. See also p. 282. 

The most northerly position amongst the peoples of the tvestern 
littoral of Asia Minor was occupied by the Mysians, who, accord- 
ing to the ancient writers, were of Thracian descent, and were 
connected with the inhabitants of the district on the south of the 
Danube known in later times as Moesia 1 . Here, however, there 
can be little doubt that there was an earlier substratum of popula- 
tion and possibly more than one. To this earlier population 
must be ascribed the worship which was common to Mysians, 
Lydians and Carians 2 . In Mysia was the Troad, the most famous 
area in the earliest literature of Europe, with its renowned city of 
Ilios and its two famous sieges, the second of which attained to 
greater lustre possibly merely from the fact that it was the theme 
of one of the greatest of poets. 


With the access to the Dardanelles we pass into a new area the 
connections of which are more with Europe than with Asia, for 
across this narrow strait of the Hellespont, even more than by the 
waters of the Golden Horn, the teeming populations of Thrace 
passed into Asia from Europe. Not once nor twice but many 
times a succession of waves of population flowed over this northern 
land. The mountain ranges are parallel to the sea coast, and by a 
long valley which runs up through Paphlagonia to the Halys have 
passed through all ages the armies which have made or marred 
the fate of Asiatic empires. We must think of these waves as 
following one another, each helping to propel still farther east- 
wards the wave that preceded it. One of the earliest, though probably 
not the first, of these waves has only lately become known to us. 

1 Strabo, xn, 566, 542. 2 Herod. 1, 171. 


*|. ' 

In 1907 were first published from the German discoveries at 
Boghaz Keui the names of the Indian deities Mitra, Varuna, 
Indra and the heavenly twins, the Nasatyas. The records belong 
to about the beginning of the fourteenth century b.c., and, in spite 
of the difficulties of the cuneiform syllabary, there could be no 
doubt that here were names well known in Indian mythology, 
though at a distance of some two thousand five hundred miles 
from the nearest point of India. Since then numerals and other 
words have been discovered of the same origin. It is noticeable 
that the words are not, as might be expected, in the Iranian forms, 
which in later times are distinguished from the Indian forms by 
well-marked phonetic differences 1 . There is no probability that 
we have at this early date the records of Indian princes carrying 
their conquests so far afield. The only feasible conclusion is that 
here we have, in the fourteenth century B.c., the records of the 
Aryan people not yet differentiated into Iranians and Indians, who 
at a later period formed these two important Indo-European stocks. 
Much is still uncertain with regard to many of the records dis- 
covered at Boghaz Keui, but this at all events is beyond dispute, 
that, amongst the peoples who for a time centred around this 
ancient Hittite capital, were some speaking languages containing a 
strong Indo-European element in their vocabulary, the surest proof 
that Indo-European and other peoples had been in close contact. 
The Gourse of their wanderings we do not know as yet, but close 
upon them must have followed the people now known to us as the 
Armenians, who, in the time of Herodotus, as now, were seated 
upon the upper waters of the Euphrates, and were the subject 
population of an alien empire even as they are to-day, although 
the alien empire in the fifth century b.c. was that of the great 
Darius of Persia. To Herodotus the Armenians are an off-shoot 
from the Phrygians. 

There is no reason to doubt the statement of Herodotus that 
the Phrygians were an European stock which had passed into 
Asia from the Macedonian area in which they had been known 
to their neighbours as Briges 2 . In the ancient Phrygian language 
we have two series of inscriptions : the earlier dating from about 

1 This fact is well illustrated by the numerals discovered; the form for 1 
is aika- in a compound, for 7 satta-. For these the Iranian forms are aiva- in 

Old Persian, aeva- in the Avesta, but the Sanskrit is eka--, in Iranian hapta , 
in Sanskrit sapta , satta only in the later descendants of Sanskrit like Pali. 
These Hittite forms are given by P. Jensen in S.B. der preussischen 
Akademie , 1919, pp. 36 J sqq.\ E. Forrer, Z.D.M.G. 1922, pp. 254 sqq. 
See below, pp. 253, 259. 2 Herod, vn, 73. 




the sixth century b.c.; the later and more numerous being the 
tomb-inscriptions of the Roman period. From Armenia comes a 
rich literature beginning in the fifth century a.d. The language, 
long supposed to be an off-shoot of Iranian, was demonstrated in 
1875 t0 bean independent branch of the Indo-European stock 1 . 
To one and the same section belong all the peoples of this family 
which have been already mentioned. They are distinguished from 
the stocks of the same origin in western Europe by their treatment 
of certain original guttural consonants which these languages con- 
vert into some form of sibilant, while in Europe they remain guttural 
sounds. The Phrygian invasion of Asia must have been a very 
important one, and Phrygia in the hey-day of its power occupied a 
large part of the interior of Ask Minor, including that which in his- 
torical times was ultimately occupied by Gauls and named Galatia. 

Of the Paphlagonians, the peoples situated to the north of 
Phrygia, we know little. Their name was familiar to the Greeks 
from Homer downwards. In the catalogue of the ships we are 
told that ‘they were led by the shaggy heart of Pylaemenes from 
the Enetoi, whence is the race of wild mules.’ They were famous 
foi. their horses and horse-breeding, but the most interesting 
point is the reference to the name of the Enetoi, to which the 
ancients found a counterpart in the Veneti on the banks of the 
Po m northern Italy. By Strabo’s time the Enetoi in Asia had 
entirely disappeared, though even this was disputed, and Zeno- 
dotus identified Enete, which he read in the text of Homer, with 
the town of Amisus (Samsun). Others accounted for their dis- 
appearance as due to the loss of Pylaemenes in the Troian war, 
which lea to their migration to Thrace after the destruction of 
I roy and to their further migration to the north of Italy 2 . Among 
Athenians the Paphlagonians had an ill reputation as slaves. This 
character is probably to be interpreted as arising from the attitude 
ot men who did not bow easily to the yoke. According to Strabo 
their eastern boundary was the Halys, and they appear to be 
distinct from the White Syrians’ or Hittites who lived beyond 
2 * . ^ est . of them were situated tribes, the Caucones and 

the Manandym, who were soon absorbed by their neighbours. 

In the Persian army the Mariandyni were armed like the Paphla- 
gonians, as were also the Ligyes (otherwise unknown here) and the 
Matieni. Though Herodotus more than once describes the Matieni 
as ymg eyon the Armenians who border on Cappadocia, their 
historical existence has long been a puzzle. * F 

H. Hubschmann, Z. f. vergl. Sprachforschung , xxm, 5-49. 

Strabo, xn, p. 543; vxi, p. 318. ’ 3 



Regarding the earlier history of the Matieni, however, the 
documents of Boghaz Keui apparently afford a clue. Amongst the 
eight peoples of whom the records are found in the great library 
unearthed at Boghaz Keui between 1905" and 1907, there appears 
one named Manda 1 , which is identified with the people of the 
same name who had come into notice as early as the time of 
Naram-Sin (2750-2700 B.c.); seven hundred years later as Mada; 
in the second millennium b.c. the name appears several times as 
Manda; in Assyrian inscriptions of the first millennium b.c. first 
and rarely as Amadai and Matai and then frequently as Madai. 
At the beginning of the first millennium b.c. a branch of the same 
people, as we learn from the Assyrian documents, is found settled 
near Lake Urmia. The oldest form of the name in Greek is pre- 
served in the Cyprian Madoi. In the Boghaz Keui documents we 
are told that one branch of this people had neither tilled nor 
reaped their land, but that a king of the Hatti (Hittites) had made 
of them vassals and compelled them to be tillers of the soil, thus 
converting shepherds into husbandmen. From this we may con- 
clude that the Medes, as they are shown to be, must have been 
one of the earliest waves of the Indo-European speaking peoples 
or Wiros who crossed into Asia (see pp. 23, 28). The fact that they 
came into Mesopotamia from the north is no proof that they did 
not cross Asia Minor in the first instance as so many of their 
successors did. It is not improbable that this was the source from 
which the mixed languages found at Boghaz Keui obtained their 
Indo-European elements. 

The boundaries of Cappadocia seem to have varied greatly at 
different times. The wave of Phrygian invasion, which must have 
been one of the largest, cut off Cappadocia from western Asia 
Minor; but through Cataonia and Lycaonia it was able to maintain 
its connection with Cilicia 2 . Though the most famous Hittite sites, 
Euyuk and Boghaz Keui, were within the bend of the Halys, 
Hittite remains are more numerous between the Halys and the 
Taurus. An important road led from their capital at Boghaz Keui 
to Caesarea Mazaca, whence a branch passed through Tyana and 
the Cilician Gates to Tarsus and the sea. The population of the 
mountainous part of Cilicia seems to have been originally of the 
same stock as the Hittites. In this area, about 1200 b.c., de- 
veloped the second Hittite empire with Tyana as its capital, 

1 E. Forrer, Z.D.M.G. 1922, pp. 248 sqq. 

2 The language of Lycaonia is still obscure; Calder, J.H.S. 1911, p. 
1 88 sq . ; Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discoveries on the Trustworthiness of 
the New Testament (1915), chap. v. 


when the ancient power at Boghaz Keui had been overthrown 
by a confederation of tribes who carried their conquest into Syria 
and even threatened Egypt 1 . When the Hittite empire failed, the 
Phrygian power, represented to the modern world by the legend 
and the monument of Midas, took its place as the controlling 
force in the centre of Asia Minor, until in its turn it was over- 
thrown by the kings of Lydia, the last of whom, Croesus, suc- 
cumbed to the Persians under Cyrus in 546 b.c. 

As the Hittite stock seems to represent the native population 
of Asia, as distinguished from the ‘Peoples of the Sea,’ and other 
later incomers, it is probable that the original population of the 
mountainous districts of Isauria, Pisidia and possibly Milyas in 
Lycia (whose inhabitants were identified with the Solymi) repre- 
sent the same stock. The territory lying between the sea and 
Pisidia was, as its name Pamphylia implies, tenanted by a mixture 
of peoples who, as on all the low-lying coasts of Asia Minor, had 
pushed their way in from outside. Unlike most areas upon the 
Asiatic coast, Pamphylia was unable to maintain Greek with any 
purity; consequently of all Greek dialects Pamphylian is the most 
modified by its surroundings. If, however, there is any truth in 
the theory that the endings in -ssos and -nda are Carian, since they 
have been found on European as well as Asiatic territory, there 
must have been a great influx of Carian s into Pisidia, for of the 
thirteen towns given by Strabo as Pisidian six have the ending 
-ssos, the most important being Sagalassos and Termessos (see 
also pp. 282, 556). Sinda represents the other ending, and Adada, 
Tymbriada and Amblada may also be akin. Strabo himself 
recognizes implicitly such a possibility when he states that they 
bordered on Phrygians, Lydians and Carians, who, he quaintly 
says, are ‘all peaceful peoples though exposed to the north wind,’ 
while the Romans discovered, to their cost, that the Isaurians and 
Pisidians were much otherwise, and the Pamphylians, having a 
great share of Cilician blood amongst them, found it difficult to 
relinquish piracy 2 . Here once more appear the Leleges, ‘wan- 
derers,’ says Strabo, ‘and remaining here through similarity of 

In the Odyssey the poet has heard of a mysterious people called 
the Cimmerians, who live on the threshold of the underworld 
wrapt in mist and clouds, and the sun never looks down upon 
them with his rays either at morn or eventide, but deadly night 

1 Sayce, J.R.J.S. 1922, pp. 569 sqq. See below, pp. 1 74, 283. 

2 Strabo, xii, p. 570. 


is over all 1 . The people whose name was thus first made known 
to literature lived on the north side of the Black Sea in and about 
the Crimean peninsula. At the end of the eighth century b.c. or 
the beginning of the seventh these Cimmerians were driven from 
their ancient seats by an invasion of the Skolot-Scythians, who 
seem to have been mainly of Iranian stock. As a result, the Cim- 
merians moved first to the eastward and then found their way 
through the central pass of the Caucasus. The Scythians followed 
in their wake, but at the Caucasus they seem to have missed 
them; going farther eastwards, and passing through the Caspian 
Gates, they arrived in Azerbaijan and Media. The events that 
followed will be treated in the chapter on the Scythians in vol. m. 

It is often dangerous to rely upon similarity of name; but the 
number of identical forms in Asia Minor and in the Balkan 
peninsula is too great to be the product of mere accident, and in 
some cases, as that of the Enetoi and the Veneti, the ancients 
themselves were concerned to explain the coincidence. But besides 
that instance, and the case of the Mysians in the Troad and the 
Moesians on the Danube, there were also the Dardania in Mysia 
from which Priam drew many of his forces, and Dardania at the 
western end of Mount Haemus. The name has been related by 
some authorities to the Albanian word for farmer, dardhan , which 
is itself a derivative from dardhe , the pear tree. The tradition of 
the arrival of the Paeonians in Asia is recorded by Herodotus in 
one of his most picturesque passages and their return to Europe 
in another not less so 2 . 

The contact with Thrace had begun early, for Homer repre- 
sents Priam as the head of an alliance of tribes combined in 
defence of Troy but drawn from Europe as well as from Asia. 
The later settlement of the Thynoi and Bithynoi, whether it arose 
in connection with the Treres or not, was but the continuation of 
an older practice. These tribes were able to remain between the 
river Parthenius and the sea of Marmara because the course of 
the invasion of Asia Minor now took another turn. 

Two peoples who played a large part in Asia came in last, the 
Greeks and much later the Gauls. It is clear that the coming of 
the Greeks into Asia did not take place along the whole of the 
western coast of Asia at the same period. There is little doubt 
that the earliest stage was the migration of the Aeolians of 
northern Greece. Here legend seems to correspond well with 
what might be expected to be fact. From Iolcus went forth the 
expedition of Jason, which in itself was nothing at all surprising, 

1 xi, 14. 2 Herod, v, 12, 16; v, 98. 



and is merely the story of early adventurers at sea, garnished with 
the myths of the Clashing Islands (Symplegades), and of the 
Golden Fleece, and the magic of Medea in Colchus. From the 
northern area also came some of the most important chiefs of the 
two expeditions at Troy, I^eleus against Laomedon, Achilles 
against Priam. The Pagasaean Gulf is a natural starting-point 
for sea-rovers, and by Scyros, Imbros and Lemnos it was easy to 
descend upon the Asiatic coast. Later came the invasion of the 
Ionians of Attica, and especially of the Peloponnese, into the parts 
about Miletus and Ephesus. Much earlier than these, it may be 
conjectured, while the Arcadian stock had easy access to the'sea, 
a colony set forth to Cyprus which continued* down even to the 
fourth century b.c., to_ write Greek in an Asiatic syllabary (voJ. i, 
p, 144}* This island, far to the east, clearly lost touch, to a large 
extent, with the homeland of Greece and, surrounded by an 
indigenous and also a Phoenician population, preserved its 
language, as such colonies do, in a more primitive form than sur- 
vived in its native country. Later still came the Dorians into Crete 
andintothesouth-westerncorneroftheAsiatic coast (see chap. xix). 

The most energetic of those peoples were the Ionians of 
Miletus. Their colonies, established solely in the interest of their 
trade, extended on the one side into the Black Sea and on the 
othei into the Delta of the Nile. Their influence spread north and 
south over their neighbours, so that Smyrna ceased to be Aeolian 
and Halicarnassus ceased to be Dorian. The Greeks have always 
been a seafaring and not an inland people, and hence it came about 
that the area occupied by Greeks at the end of the nineteenth cen- 
tury a.d. was much the same as they were occupying in the eighth 
century b.c. ' a 6 

The Gaulish tribes repeat in the full light of history what many 
other tribes must have done before history begins. Their earlier 
connections are set forth in the following chapter. They did not 
reach Asia till 278 b.c. Their opportunity arose from family 
disputes amongst the princes on the Asiatic side of the Hellespont 
and the Bosporus They were in three divisions, the Tolistobogii, 
he Trocmi and the TectosagesL The princes of Asia regarded 
their raids with awe and horror, but every one of them was pre- 
pared to employ Gaulish mercenaries as fighters against some 
town or tribe which had incurred his enmity. After wandering to 
and fro for some time as raiders, these Gauls firmly established 
themselves in part of the great area which had once been Phrygia 
They very soon adopted the worship of the Earth goddess, the 

1 Livy, xxxviii, 16. 


♦ ■ : 

most characteristic cult of Asia Minor, a fetish stone of which 
was brought from Pessinus to Rome in 204 B.c. With the cult 
they adopted the foul rites which belonged to It, so that to later 
times the emasculated priests of the Great Mother were known 
as Gauls (Galli). 

With the kings of Pergamum the Gauls were never at peace, 
because the kings of Pergamum were not strong enough by them- 
selves to reduce them to order. In the early part of the second 
century b.c. the Romans came into Asia and with their coming 
the doom of the Galatae was sealed. 



G EOGRAPHICALLY Europe is but a large peninsula of 
Asia. Its features in all respects are on a smaller scale than 
those of the great continent to which it is attached. There is no 
clear boundary line between Europe and Asia. As we have already 
seen, the Greek islands are but stepping stones forming an easy 
passage across the Aegean. The Dardanelles and the Bosporus 
are channels in which a rapid current flows, but which are ex- 
ceeded in breadth by many river estuaries. The Ural Mountains, 
which, manuals of geography tell us, are the main boundary be- 
tween the two continents, are of comparatively small elevation and 
have never been 'an effectual boundary preventing passage to and 
fro between Asia and Europe. The most formidable barrier is 
formed by the great wall of the Caucasus between the Black Sea 
and the Caspian, through which the pass of Dariel alone supplies 
a passage between Europe and Asia other than that supplied by 
the shore of the Caspian. 

The greatest variations in recent geological times on the eastern 
side of Europe are the elevation of the Ural Mountains, the con- 
traction in area of the Caspian, the sinking of the region now 
covered by the northern Aegean, so that the islands are all that 
remain of its ancient hill tops, and the river which once flowed 
into the sea near the island of Andros has been curtailed to form 
the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles. To the 
same period of geological time belongs the gradual Ailing up of 
the wide estuary of the Po by the silt brought down by its own 
waters from the Alps. 

The greatest line of division in Europe is that formed by the 
mountain chains which run across it in an irregular line from 
west to east, the Pyrenees, the Cevennes, the Jura, the Alps and 
the Carpathians, of which the latter, like a great point of interro- 
gation, form a boundary between the plains of Hungary and the 
wide expanses of Thrace and the steppes of Russia" that lie 
beyond. To the south-east of the main range of the Alps runs the 
long line formed by the Julian Alps, the Dinaric Alps and the 
Balkans, continued in rough and mountainous country to the 


three peninsulas in which the kingdom of Greece ends to the 
southward. To the north of the Alps runs north-west and south- 
east the Bohemian Forest, at right angles to which stretch the 
Erz-Gebirge. With this range are connected the Riesen-Gebirge 
running south-eastwards and separated only from the Tatra, the 
northern heights of the Carpathians, by the wide pass known as 
the Moravian Gate. In the far north is the Scandinavian peninsula 
with much the greatest part of its extent extremely mountainous. 
Mountains of considerable height are found also in the north of 
Scotland; but through England, northern France, northern Ger- 
many and Russia .there runs a great plain which continues un- 
broken to the Ural Mountains. 

As has been shown more fully in vol. 1, chaps. 1 and 11, a very 
long record of human habitation is perpetuated before history 
begins. The roughest of chipped stone weapons (eoliths), so 
rough that it has been demonstrated that similar products could 
also be created by natural causes, are assigned to the action of the 
earliest men; and others, somewhat more advanced, are undoubt- 
edly the handiwork of men who take their name from these 
weapons as palaeolithic men, or men of the palaeolithic age. To 
men from the end of this period are assigned various attempts at 
representing t^ie forms of animals and also human beings, which 
are found in many places, but particularly in the south of France 
and in Spain and Portugal. The men of that age were good 
draughtsmen, as these extant figures show. They had also con- 
siderable skill in carving, as is proved by their carvings, mainly 
on bone and ivory of such animals as the mammoth, the bison and 
the horse. After them there came for northern Europe the change 
of climate which produced the ‘Great Ice Age,’ in which more 
than once the severity of the climate seems to have lessened and 
the ice to have retreated. At the last period of its greatest extent 
southwards the ice stopped short of the Thames in Britain and 
extended to about the latitude of Berlin on the Continent. After 
a period of unknown length the ice gradually retreated to its 
present limits, but a long time must have elapsed before a numerous 
population could have maintained itself upon the lands which had 
been left bare by the retreating ice. See more particularly, vol. 1, 

P- 45 S V- 

The conditions of northern Europe must for long have been 
somewhat like those of northern Siberia now. The first stage of 
vegetation would be marked by the growth of grass and shallow- 
rooting plants, followed by water-loving trees, like the willow, 
the alder and the birch. But for a long period deep-rooting shrubs 




and trees would not have been able to maintain themselves 
because, long after the ice on the surface had disappeared, the 
ground would have remained frozen at a considerable depth. 
With the gradual disappearance of this underground ice and the 
increase of vegetation came also a variety of birds and quadrupeds 
as well as many lower forms of animal l'ife. What dements of the 
ancient palaeolithic population followed the ice northwards need 
not be discussed. 1 he new men developed gradually much greater 
skill in the manufacture of stone axes, chisels and arrowheads; 
but they had not the same artistic powers in draughtsmanship and 
carving. ' 1 

. Anthropologists classify the types ot man which have existed 
m Europe since neolithic times in three great classes If we dis- 
regard the more detailed subdivisions. These are: (r) ‘Nordic’ 
man, the dolichocephalic, tall, fair-skinned, fair-haired and blue 
or grey-eyed inhabitant of the north. (2) ‘Mediterranean’ man 
also dolichocephalic, but differing from the Nordic by darker hair’ 
eyes and skin, and shorter and slighter figure. On the western side 
or Europe the Nordic and the Mediterranean race touch and 
overlap. Mediterranean man is found, as the name implies 
mainly along the Mediterranean, but reaching northwards into 
Switzerland and south Germany, and to some extent into England 
and extending eastwards through southern Russia towards the 
Elack Sea. (3) Alpine’ man, brachycephalic, the cranium rising 
high above the ears, with a broad face, eyes often grey, and hair 
brown generally of medium height and stoutly built.' This type 
is found through the greater part of central Europe, from Russia 
to the Atlantic. 

Fiom a very early period all kinds of mixtures have taken place 
among these types and in many parts of Europe they are inex- 
tricably intermingled. Of the peoples of Europe we really learn 
most from the linguistic records which have been preserved from 
the mnth century b.c. downwards. From these, however, we 
ordinarily gather nothing of the physical characteristics of the 
writers or the people they describe; and when it occurs to them 
to describe physical appearance the language is frequently too 
° •^ I ^ e US ass * stance - Much has been written about 

ttd d rr%° f Men f laus in . Homer a s yellow-haired, as the 
word is frequently translated. In modern Greek, however 

bkckTd’T practically of any colour of hair short of jrt 
black, and the colour was in all probability not lighter than 
urn, for the verb ^avdit^iv is used by Aristophanes of the 
colour of meat in the process of browning. When the Greeks 


came into contact with real blond hair, as we can see from 
Diodorus, they were puzzled how to describe it, and state that 
the children,on the Belgian coast had the hair of old men, applying 
to them the adjective ordinarily used for the white locks of age 
(iroXto?) 1 . In Europe, through all the period which history covers, 
the greater part of the population has spoken languages belonging 
to the Indo-European family. But it hardly needs to be pointed 
out that there is no necessary relation between the physical 
characteristics of the speaker and the language which he speaks. 
From very early times it is probable that persons of all three 
racial types spoke Indo-European languages, and it is important 
to have a word which can be applied to speakers of the languages 
without any implication of race. For this, the simplest means is 
to designate them by a word which in most of the Indo-European 
languages indicates men — Wiros. 

For ancient times our knowledge of the peoples of Europe is 
derived entirely from Greek and Roman writers who, whatever 
their own racial origin, used languages which were Indo-Euro- 
pean. But besides the Wiros there were, in early times, and indeed 
to some extent still are, speakers of other languages in Europe. 
The most archaic of these languages still surviving is Basque, 
which is spoken in valleys on both sides of the Pyrenees. The 
speakers are partly short and dark and partly tall and fair, from 
which it has been argued that the short and dark represent the 
ancient race, and the tall and fair remnants of the Visigoths who 
invaded Spain in the fifth century a.d. The language has no close 
relations with any other language in Europe. Whether it had any 
connection with the language of the ancient Iberian inscriptions, or 
whether the Iberians were related to the Berbers are still matters 
of dispute. 

A second language which has disappeared is that of the 
Ligurians, whose habitat was said to be in the mountains above 
the gulf of Genoa, but of whom many modern writers have dis- 
covered traces over a far wider area in Gaul, Spain and Italy. Of 
the Ligurians we know very little. They lived like the Celts, but 
were of a different stock 2 . The few inscriptions attributed to them 
are probably Celtic, and the statements of the ancients that they 
were a thin, wiry people, winning a hard living from a barren 
soil by agriculture in which their women did much of the work, 
is a description that would apply to most highland peoples from 
that day to this 3 . 

A people who made a greater figure in the ancient world, but 

1 Diodorus, v, 32. 2 Strabo, 11, 28, p. 128. 3 Diodorus, iv, 20. 




whose language and characteristics have equally disappeared as 
separate entities, were the Etruscans. They will come up for dis- 
cussion in vol. in. Meanwhile it may be said that they occupied 
the western coast of Italyfrom the Tiber northwards and extended 
at one time, to the Alps; though, in the fifth century b.c., when 
their power was broken, they were driven back on the north-east 
by the Gauls who at that time had invaded and occupied the vallev 
of the Po. The racial and the linguistic relations of the Etruscan 
people are equally mysterious. It is certain that the ancients were 
right in believing that they were a people alien to Italy who had 
reached its shores by sea. The numerous representations of them 
in their own art, which was clearly learned by them from the 
Greeks, shows that they were not of the same type as the ordinary 
inhabitant of Italy at the period to which the monuments belong. 
Though more than eight thousand inscriptions exist in the language 
and though in 1892 a book in Etruscan, which had long lain in 
an Egyptian mummy case, was published, the relations of the 
language remain almost as obscure as they were before. Whether 
as the ancients supposed 1 , the Etruscans had migrated from 
Lydia must still remain undecided, although in the preceding 
chapter some reason has been shown for a connection between 
Etruria and Lydia and the mysterious bas-relief discovered in the 
island of Lemnos. See pp. 1 1 282. 

The Sicani, early inhabitants of Sicily, were connected by the 
ancients with the Iberians. The language of the ancient Siculi, 
rom . whom the island derived its name, was, from its scanty 
remains, obviously closely related to Latin. In the heel of Italy 
another language, the Messapian, was spoken. Of this a certain 
number of genuine inscriptions survive, mixed up with many 
others forged by stone-masons at the end of the ‘sixties’ in order 
o win the rewards offered by an incautious antiquary for the dis- 
covery of such inscriptions. The language appears to have been 
connected with the ancient Illyrian, and the speakers may have 
themselves migrated from Illyria, as Albanians did migrate to 

southern TtalvSr centur 7 A - D -> a »d in a few communities in 
end of th? I 5 P1 ' e -, erve *eir ancient language. At the northern 

ancient V * T u f ^ found Options of the 
S , Jf 5 the ckssical writers saw a tribe who had 

migrated from Asia Minor to Europe and, traversing the northern 

continuation of the Pindus Range, had ultimately reached the 
coast and passed round the head of the Adriatic to the .eats 

l C Her J 1St0riC c T* they 0CCU P ied * Tbe r t0 ° were probably 
Herod, i, 945 Strabo, v, o. 210. 2 , 

gpgjjg^l | .. | 
it * 6 

• Strabo, xni, p. 608. 


connected in reality with stems in northern Illyria as Herodotus 
supposed and as modern investigation seems to confirm 1 . 

The relation of the modern Albanian language to the tribes 
which in classical times occupied the same area is not clear. The 
difficulties are two-fold. Modern Albanian has been so much 
influenced by its neighbours, Greek, Latin, Romance, Slavonic 
and Turkish, that, out of a vocabulary of five thousand words, 
G. Meyer could identify only four hundred as belonging 
to the native language. The second difficulty is of a different 
kind. The Indo-European languages fall into two large groups, 
according to the treatment of certain original guttural sounds 
which in one group become some form of sibilant and in the other 
remain as the gutturals k, g and gh, with subsequent modifica- 
tions in some cases arising in the separate histories of the in- 
dividual languages. The group which has kept the gutturals is 
found, as yet, only in Europe and Chinese Turkestan: Teutonic, 
Celtic, Latin and other Italic dialects, Greek; Tocharish. The 
languages which have changed the gutturals into sibilants comprise 
the ancient languages of this stock in India and Iran — Sanskrit with 
its numerous descendants in India, and in Persia the language of 
the Avesta, itself in two dialects, and the language of the ancient 
inscriptions of the Achaemenid Dynasty between 525 b.c. and 
330 B.c., which were written in cuneiform and were first fully 
deciphered by Sir Henry Rawlinson in 1847 an d following years. 

To the latter group also belongs Armenian, which, like Albanian, 
has borrowed much from its neighbours. It is known only from 
the fifth century a.d.; and before then had incorporated much 
Persian material and itself overlaid a still earlier language. With 
it was connected ancient Phrygian, found in two series of 
inscriptions separated by many centuries. The other languages 
of this group are the Slavonic, known to us first in the ancient 
ecclesiastical language employed by Greek missionaries from 
Constantinople in the ninth century a.d., Cyril and Methodius, 
and later in many other dialects with which must be coupled the 
Baltic dialects including Lithuanian, Lettish and the extinct Old 
Prussian. Albanian is a language of this group, but it seems hardly 
likely that the ancient Messapian and the Venetic agree with it 
on the gutturals. If not, as this difference is extremely old, we 
must suppose that modern Albanian is not closely related to 
these ancient dialects, or to the ancient Illyrian which was pre- 
sumably closely connected with them. If it is not so related, it 
can only be explained as a Thracian dialect which had been 

1 Herod, x, 196. 


pushed through the extension of the Pindus Range by pressure 
in its original habitat, for Albania is too mountainous and difficult 
of access to be an inviting country for colonists. It is, of course, 
possible that, as in Asia Minor, there may have been from the 
earliest times a difference between the population and the lan- 
guage of the narrow sea-coast with the islands along it and 
those on the high ground behind, a possibility which receives 
support from the fact that this distinction of language and also 
of race has characterized and does still characterize the country 
in modern times. 

The early history of the lands lying between the Adriatic and 
the Danube is not well known. But in many parts we know that 
the early population was practically exterminated by the Romans 
who filled up the vacant spaces by bringing in tribes from else- 
where. Thus Ammianus Marcellinus tells us that the emperor 
Maximin was by race of the tribe of the Carpi, who were moved 
by Diocletian from their ancient homes in the High Tatra in the 
Carpathians into Pannonia 1 . Such removals of peoples both 
voluntary and involuntary had gone on for many centuries. In the 
middle of the fourth century b.c. certain Celtic tribes, the Scor- 
disci, Taurisci and the Boii, were forcing southwards the Illyrians, 
who, during the temporary weakness of Macedonia, spread over 
a considerable part of its western territories, till they were met 
by the youthful Philip II, and after a hotly-contested battle were 
driven back beyond lake Lychnitis. A hundred and thirty years 
later they came in contact with the Roman power which was 
beginning to stretch across the Adriatic, and, after many wars, 
were finally reduced under Roman sway, although they remained 
ready enough to rebel at any suitable opportunity. 

One of the most difficult problems of ancient history is to 
determine who were, the earliest inhabitants of Greece. On few 
subjects has more advance been made in the last fifty years, but 
it cannot be said that an answer to the problem has been reached 
with certainty. Of the Pelasgians, who, as has been wittily said, only 
appear in order to disappear, some account has been given in the 
previous chapter (p. 12, see also pp. 488, 544). In the view of the 
Greeks themselves the oldest of their tribes was the Leleges, whom 
Hesiod, as quoted by Strabo, said that Zeus had granted as picked 
peoples from the earth to Deucalion 2 . But the poet was only 
exercising his ingenuity in inventing a double pun by connecting 
the adjective Xeier 09, ‘ picked,’ with the name of the Leleges, and 
the word for stone with the word for people, which differed only 

1 Ammian. Mar. xxrai, i, 5. 2 Strabo, vii, p. 321. 




by an accent (Xaos, A. ads)- In the Greek view the Leleges came 
from the north-west, through Greece and the islands, and reached 
as far as Asia Minor. Their eponymous hero, Lelex, is said by 
Aristotle to have been a native of Leucadia. The same authority 
informs us that in Aetolia the modern Locrians were identical 
with the Leleges and that they spread to Boeotia 1 . In later times 
they were mixed with the Carians and their name disappeared 
from Greece (see p. 10). In Homer it is clear that the peoples 
are independent, for the Leleges were encamped separately from 
the Carians in Priam’s army and their king Altes was a father-in- 
law of Priam and ruled the city ofPedasus. If the identification of 
Pedasus in Egyptian records could be trusted (p. 281), the Leleges 
of Homer might be a remnant of a once more powerful people. 

In later times, as we have seen, the Carians remained a formid- 
able people, famous as mercenaries, though they too had dis- 
appeared from Greek lands and were to be found only in Asia 
Minor, and though the ancient graves in Delos were recognized 
by Thucydides as being in part Carian 2 . To the Carians have 
been assigned certain proper names which are frequent in Greece 
and have no etymology in the Greek language, particularly the 
names which end in -ssos or -ttos, like Mycalessos in Boeotia, the 
river Ilissos and Mount Hymettos at Athens, a type of name 
which is very widely spread through Greece and its islands. 
Another ending of the same kind is - nthos , seen in Corinthos and 
many other proper names, and in some common nouns like 
acrdfuvOo<; (‘a bath’) and various names of plants and animals. 
The disappearance of these peoples was owing to the incoming 
from the north of the Achaeans. 

There is no reason to doubt the statement of the ancients that 
there were Phoenician settlements in Greek lands, the most 
famous that of Cadmus in Thebes. But the Phoenicians were a 
trading people who did not establish permanent colonies in 
Greece, but only stations in which to gather the wares in which 
they traded (see p. 379). If we may trust Athenaeus, Caria was 
called Phoenice by Corinna and Bacchylides 3 . 

In the middle of the second millennium b.c. the power which 
had been growing in Crete over a long period had reached its 
height. The traditions which survived of it were connected by 
the Greeks of classical times with the great king Minos, who 
not only reigned in a magnificent city at Cnossus, but extended 
his power in many directions over Greek lands, and founded 
many places known by his name as Minoa. To-day we know 

1 Strabo, vn, p. 322. 2 Thuc. 1, 8. 3 Ath. iv, 1 74 sq. 




that, in so far as it attached kingly power to Cnossus, tradition 
spoke truly, but besides Cnossus there were many other im- 
portant settlements of the same period in Crete and adjacent 
lands. The excavations of Sir Arthur Evans at Cnossus and of 
the Italians at Phaestus have revealed to us how strong and 
how advanced in civilization these Cretan cities were. As we 
have already seen, many of the peoples of the western coast 
of Asia Minor who preceded the Greeks professed to have 
come from Crete (p. io sg.). But Crete was an island of ninety 
cities and of many nations 1 . Among them were the true Cretans 
(’ETeo/cpjres). Some inscriptions found in recent years at Praesus 
apparently preserve their language, which cannot be certainly 
identified as Indo-European, though it has some undoubted 
similarities. According to Herodotus this language survived only 
in Praesus and Polichne after the forces of Minos had followed him 
to Sicily 2 . Ethnologists, however, still find in eastern Crete a 
type which they identify as Eteocretan. Here also were the 
People of the Sea, the Pelasgians, and, besides, according to 
Homer, Achaeans, Cydonians, and Dorians with waving hair, if 
that indeed be the meaning of the epithet Tpiyeu#ce?. In the ex- 
cavations at Cnossus many records in writing" have been found 
but as yet it is impossible to read them. The'art qf Cnossus and 
its contemporary cities shows a people of elegant figure and much 
grace, _ but the probability that they are Greeks is certainly less 
than it was in the view of some excellent scholars when the 
discoveries were first made. See further, chap. xvi. 

The new element in the population that we know as Greek 
must certainly have descended from the north. Access from the 
north to Greece is easy, for the valleys run in the main north and 
south. Tradition brought Thracians even to a religious centre 
like Eleusis, and m this there is nothing surprising, for to this 
day, in winter, Thracian shepherds may be met in Attica, having 
brought their flocks to a country safer from storms than the 
uplands in which they spend the summer. From what centre these 
people came we can at present only guess, but there are many 
arguments in favour of the view that the people whom we have 
called Wiro S , without regard to their racial origin but only to the 
Si they spoke Indo-European languages, dispersed from a 

I t ll iS 5 a l be H ma ? be / ou g hI 7 outlined as bounded 
eastwards by the Carpathians, southwards by the Balkans, west- 
wards by the Bohemian Forest and northwards by the mountains 

1 Odyssey, xix, xySsqq. 

2 Herod. vn 5 170. 

" - > ' 
3 /: '' 


that separate Bohemia from Germany and make a semi-circle 
ending at the Moravian Gate 1 . 

Here are. found the conditions of climate which the Indo- 
European languages appear to postulate, and here too are found 
the beasts and birds and plants for which identical words exist in 
many of the languages. There is reason to suppose that this 
people was partly pastoral, partly agricultural, for the plains of 
Hungary are admirably suited for growing the grain which they 
knew and for fostering the horses with which they were certainly 
familiar, while the park-lands of the lower Carpathians were well 
suited to the maintenance of cattle and the heights for the pastur- 
age of sheep. The quadrupeds with which on linguistic grounds 
it may be assumed that the Wiros were familiar in their earliest 
period, were the horse, the cow, the sheep, the pig and the dog. 
The evidence from this source for the goat is less strong. Words 
for wheat and barley were known, and those for ploughing, 
sowing, reaping, and the necessary implements, are widely spread. 

The district was a centre from which the Wiros of Europe 
might most easily spread, and also might easily pass, as they 
undoubtedly did, in wave after wave to Asia Minor and the East. 
We can only guess at the causes which led to their spreading 
over the lands in which we find them when history begins. The 
most probable is the increase of population beyond the bounds 
of subsistence. It is impossible to believe that so many languages, 
with so complicated a grammar, could have developed on so closely 
similar lines, unless the speakers had spent a long time in contact 
with one another and shut off from their neighbours, as in the area 
mentioned they were, by mountains which offer comparatively few 
means of access. How far their civilization had reached before 
separation took place is not easy to define precisely. It may be sup- 
posed that they were at any rate passing out of the stone age into 
the bronze age but were not yet familiar with the working of iron. 

The earliest settlers of this stock to reach southern Greece 
were those we know as Arcadians, though in earlier times they 
were not confined to that mountainous region, but extended to 
the sea coasts of the Peloponnese from which, greatly daring, 
they sent out a band of colonists who established themselves at 
an early period in the island of Cyprus. Here, however, they had 
always formidable competitors in the Phoenicians, more of whose 
early records have been found in Cyprus than in Phoenicia itself, 
and both had to deal with an earlier people. From them these Greeks 

1 See E. Brit s.v. ‘Indo-European languages,’ and Camb. Hist, of India , 
1, ch. iii. . ■■■-. _ 


at any rate learnt to write in an Asiatic syllabary which, no doubt 
through instinctive opposition to the Phoenicians with their more 
modern alphabet, they persisted in writing till the fourth century 
B.C. (vol. I, p. I44). 

In succession to this stock there came along the eastern side of 
Greece the peoples whom we know in the north as Aeolians. They 
occupied the country as far as the isthmus of Corinth, except 
Attica with which was linked the population on the southern side 
of the Saronic Gulf. The tradition of this close connection between 
Attica and towns like Troezen, which in the fifth century b.c. were 
extremely hostile to Athens, is shown in the firm tradition pre- 
served by the Attic tragedians of amity and kinship between the 
cities in the time of Theseus. Subsequently the Dorians arrived 
by the valleys of the north-west. From here they spread across 
southern Thessaly and mingled with the earlier population of 
Boeotia so far as to produce a curious mongrel dialect. They, 
too, passed Attica by, probably because its marble rocks pre- 
sented no attraction to them, and by the isthmus passed into the 
Peloponnese, where they established themselves in its most fertile 
lands and on the eastern coast assimilated the Ionians of the 
Attic stock 1 . At a later time the southern side of the Corinthian 
Gulf and the north-western corner of Elis were- occupied by 
Dorians, who came across the Corinthian Gulf bringing with them 
the less refined dialect of the Dorian tribes who had lingered in 
the wilder lands that skirt Parnassus. 

Of all Greek regions Thessaly was the wealthiest in natural 
resources, for, being the bed of an ancient inland sea which was 
ultimately drained when the Peneus broke through the vale of 
Tempe to the Aegean, it formed a spacious cornland to which 
there was no parallel in southern Greece. The conditions of life 
in Thessaly were such as to develop a feudal aristocracy and a 
subject population of serfs. Here are readily developed men eager 
for adventure, and hence it is that the first legend of a voyage into 
distant and mysterious lands started with Jason from the Paga- 
saean Gulf. From this country sprang also some of the knights 
who fought in two great expeditions against Troy, the town 
which held the entrance of the Dardanelles; Peleus fights against 
Laomedon, his son Achilles fights against Laomedon’s son Priam. 
If Homer’s statement that there were Dorians in Crete is to be 
trusted, it was by drifting down the Aegean that they reached it, 
for colonization by Dorians was long posterior to the age of 
which Homer sang. See pp. 514, 528. 

In classical times the mountainous country north of the Gulf 
1 Herod, vm, 73, 3. 


of Corinth through which the Dorians had passed was little 
known to the Greeks, although the most ancient of their shrines, 
Dodona, was in the heart of it. In later times it was known as 
Epirus — -the mainland — and was flooded by other tribes which 
came in from the north and were of Illyrian stock. The tribes at 
the southern end of this area were known as Aetolians, the most 
important sept of which was the Eurytanes, of whom Thucydides 
has only to say that their language was extremely unintelligible 
and that they were cannibals 1 . 

North-eastwards of Epirus lay Macedonia, the tribes of which 
were little known to the Greeks until the fifth century b.c., when 
the ruling family claimed to be of the descendants of Heracles 
and to be genuine Greeks, a . claim which it was the delight of 
opposing orators of the Athenian assembly to scoff at and reject. 
Nevertheless, although here also there was, as we have seen, a 
mixture of peoples through mutual invasion, the language of the 
Macedonians closely resembled Greek, from which it differed by 
sound changes not more remarkable than the differences which 
exist between English dialects. Their civilization had fallen 
behind that of the tribes which had moved farther to the south, 
but the stock apparently was the same. The boundaries of the 
country varied, at different times and the outlying areas of Lyn- 
cestis on the west and Paeonia on the north were apparently as 
much Illyrian and Thracian as Macedonian. 

Separated from Macedonia by the long ridge of Mount 
Rhodope, and bounded on the north by the Haemus Range, and 
extending eastwards to the Dardanelles, the Bosporus, and the 
Black Sea, lay Thrace, a country the civilization of which, like 
that of Macedonia, had fallen behind Greek civilization, but with 
the population of which in early times Greek tradition claimed 
close connection. Thence had come more than one worship which 
had affected Greek civilization not a little, the most important 
being that of Dionysus, who, when his worship was carried to a 
warmer country, ceased to be the deity of the liquor brewed from 
barley and became the wine-god. To Greek poets the great river 
of Thrace, the Hebrus, with its waters frozen over, was the type 
of everything that was horrible in climate; but the coasts of Thrace 
speedily became dotted with Greek colonies which proved an 
important element in Greek civilization, and one of them, 

1 Thuc. in, 94. The view that they were only ‘eaters of pemmican’ 
is refuted by the ordinary meaning of the word That other 

peoples who were their enemies should say they were cannibals does not 
prove the statement. A similar charge was made against the Ordovices of 
North Wales ( Proc . Camb. Phil. Soc. 1906, p. 5]. 



Byzantium, was destined to become for a long period the capital 
of a great empire. Of the Thracian people who were both numerous 
and powerful the only linguistic remains are proper names and a 
single inscription discovered some years ago. Its early emigrants, 
Armenians, Phrygians, Bithynians, etc., have already been treated 
(see pp. 1 3 sqq.). 

Beyond the Haemus, except along the coasts of the Black Sea, 
everything was dark and mysterious. On the coast, between the 
end of the Haemus Range and the delta of the Danube, Greek 
colonies were thickly planted. Beyond, for a long distance they 
were more rare, but Olbia, at the mouth of the Hypanis, was an 
important centre. There were others in the Crimea, most im- 
portant of which were Theudosia, on the north-eastern side, and 
Panticapaeum (Kertch) at the entrance to the sea of Azov. The 
general name of this unknown country was Scythia, but naturally 
its further boundaries were unknown. The manners and customs 


of the Scythians were of great interest to the Greeks, and both 
Herodotus and his contemporary, the great physician Hippo- 
crates, devoted careful study to them 1 . They were a nomad people 
who moved from place to place in covered wains, but their men 
rode on horseback and their territory was believed to extend 
north of the Caspian and the Aral Sea across the Jaxartes far into 
Asia. Of their civilization many most valuable remains have been 
discovered in southern Russia. In all probability their racial 
history was much like that of the modern Turks, who, by constant 
interbreeding with white races, have lost their racial character- 
istics and have practically become a white race themselves. The 
raiding of the Persian borderlands carried on century after 
century no doubt produced a similar change in the appearance 
and physique of the Scythians. Some words which have been pre- 
served of the Scythian language are obviously Iranian, but with the 
history of the people that we have assumed this is not in the least 
surprising. See p. 17, and the chapter on the Scythians in vol. nr. 

The Sarmatians, who are often assumed to be Slavs, were 
apparently only a branch of the Scythians. The Slavs, who how- 
ever do not figure in ancient history, seem to have left their 
original home by the Moravian Gate and for long occupied the 
country in the neighbourhood of the vast marshes of the Pripet. 
Among them are found both short-headed and long-headed 
representatives. Their distribution in modern times has little 
relation to that in ancient times. In the Balkan peninsula they 
have spread much farther to the east, and in the Peloponnese 
1 Herod, iv; Hippocr. de aere etc., chaps. 24—30. 



. - - :V- 

■ : ■ ■ : v 


they have been absorbed by the Greek-speaking stock. In Ger- 
many, where in the seventeenth century a.d. a Slavonic dialect 
was still spoken farther west than Jutland, the language has 
yielded to German. The members of this stock, who were the 
first to reach the Baltic, were no doubt the Lithuanians, Letts and 
Old Prussians. The language of the Old Prussians became extinct 
in the seventeenth century. The languages of the Lithuanians and 
the Letts, which really differ little more than Attic and Aeolic 
Greek, continue their existence, but are threatened by Polish and 
by Russian. In Lithuanian there is an active literary movement 
which, however, is perhaps more in evidence in Chicago than it 
is in its native country. 

From the time that history begins we find a people very active 
in the valley of the Danube. These are the Celts. Strong of frame, 
active in mind, vigorous and prolific, throughout the whole 
course of ancient European history they harassed the more settled 
parts of Europe and penetrated even into Asia. Their dialects 
bear a curious resemblance to those of the Italic stock — the Oscan 
and Umbrian and many minor dialects, on one side, and the 
Latin and Faliscan, upon the other — in that they fall into two 
groups, according as they convert certain original qu sounds into 
p or leave them as qu or c. The Italic and the Celtic dialects also re- 
semble one another in the formation of the future and of the passive 
voice. In the formation of the passive they stood by themselves till 
recent years, when the Tocharish of Chinese Turkestan and some 
of the languages found at Boghaz Keui show passive forms of the 
same type. It is probable therefore that when the Celtic and 
Italic stocks of the Wiros moved westwards they remained in 
company longer than other tribes speaking similar languages. 

It was not till the seventh century b.c., as is generally supposed, 
that the Celts found their way into the country which was known 
to the Romans as Gaul and established themselves in the northern 
part of what is now France. Among the Celts of modern times 
there are two well-marked types; a short, dark-haired and 
generally dark-eyed type, and a tall, frequently red-haired and 
grey-eyed type. It was this last which impressed the ancient 
peoples and which they generally describe in their writings and 
represent in their art. Such a Gaul is the well-known figure of the 
Pergamene school popularly known as the Dying Gladiator. They 
are described by Livy as tall men with long red hair carrying 
huge shields and very long swords, clashing their arms as they 
entered battle and uttering shouts and cries, but without staying 
power equal to their size and succumbing readily to heat, dust 




and thirst 1 . Whether the dark race which was earlier in Gaul 
than the arrival of the red-haired Celts was also Celtic, or whether 
it took the language of the conquerors is not clear. The latter is 
the more likely, and though it is no doubt true that the conquering 
minority is in most cases absorbed by the subject majority and 
takes the language of that majority, this is not always true. The ,7; 
French of to-day speak a language they had borrowed from their 
Roman conquerors, but the Franks were themselves a conquering 
minority in Gaul. The distinction between the two types of Celtic 
language is more marked amongst the Celtic dialects in Britain 
than it was apparently in ancient Gaul. There the ‘P-Celts’ — 
that is those who used fetora for jour, the equivalent of the Latin 
quattuor — were apparently much more numerous than the ‘Q- 
Celts,’ who used qu, although this combination seems to be found 
in the name of the river Seine — Sequana — and in the name of the 
tribe Sequani. 

The invasion of Britain by the Gauls is supposed to have taken 
place in the third century b.c. There must have been a double 
invasion, because the Irish, the Scottish Gaelic and the Manx are 
Q-languages, while Welsh, the now extinct Cornish and the 
Breton of Brittany are P-languages, the last being, not a remnant 
of the ancient Gaulish, but the speech of the Celts of Britain who 
passed over from Cornwall to Brittany in the fifth century a.d. 
The ancient Piets, whose language, except for some unintelligible 
Inscriptions, is entirely lost, probably belonged to the small black 
race who spoke a P-language, for the word Picht is still used in 
Scotland for such a short and dark person. 

The question has often been asked as to what has become of 
the tall, red-haired, brawny Celt in France, where he is now 
conspicuous by his absence. Not only has this type of Celt dis- 
appeared, but the German Frank, who also was tall, fair-haired < 
and brawny, is rarely to be found in France. The explanation no '■ 
doubt is that, in both cases, the tall fair-haired men were only a 
governing aristocracy, comparatively small in numbers, and that : 
they have been absorbed by the short, dark-haired and more 
numerous type. It is fairly certain that, as Dr Beddoe has argued, 
the conditions of town life are unfavourable to the tall, fair-haired 
man, who gives way to the short and dark type, a point which it 
is easy enough for anyone to test by his own observation. In the 
south-west of Gaul, in Aquitania, the dark Mediterranean type 
was prevalent, but the invading Gauls overran their country and 
passed down into Spain, bordering already in the time of Hero- 

3 Livy, xxxviii, 


dotus upon the Cynesians, who, he says, are the most westerly 
people in Europe 1 . Details escape us, but a large part of the 
Iberian peninsula was occupied by a people at least mixed with 
Celts, as their name, Celtiberi, implies. The earlier inhabitants 
of Spain seem to have lived in caves as their predecessors of 
palaeolithic times had done 2 . 

According to the legend preserved by Livy the Celtic part of 
Gaul in the time of Tarquinius Priscus (sixth century b.c.) had 
for its king Ambigatus of the tribe of the Bituriges 3 . He, finding 
in his old age that his sister’s sons, Bellovesus and Segovesus, 
were too hard for him, sent them forth to occupy such lands as 
the gods should give them, Segovesus to the Hercynian Forest, 
and Bellovesus to an attack upon Italy, in which not only the 
Bituriges but also Arverni, Senones, Aedui, and other less well- 
known tribes joined him. They crossed the Alps, defeated the 
Etruscans not far from the river Ticinus, and founded the city 
of Milan. They were followed by Cenomani, who settled in the 
neighbourhood of Brescia and Verona, while the Boii and Lin- 
gones proceeded farther southward beyond the Po and occupied 
lands held by the Umbrians. The Senones advanced still farther 
and occupied the eastern side of the Apennines between Forli 
and Ancona. It was the Senones, according to Livy, who ulti- 
mately attacked and plundered Rome about 390 b.c. We have 
already seen how, soon after, the Scordisci and other tribes had 
established themselves in Pannonia. Names like Brigantium 
(Bregenz) or Vindobona (Vienna) survive to witness to their 
presence. The Celts mixed readily with other peoples and in 
southern Gaul we find Celtoligures and far away near the Black 
Sea the Celtoscythae. From Pannonia as a base they proceeded 
at the beginning of the third century b.c. to attack the countries 
to the south, reaching ultimately as far as Delphi. Some of them 
founded a kingdom in Thrace and others crossed over to Asia. 
When they had done so they were met by the people of Per- 
gamum, who were their irreconcilable foes, and were driven by 
them inland. There they took Ancyra, and with three tribes, the 
Trocmi, the Tolistobogii and the Tectosages, occupied a large 
part of the ancient Phrygia 4 . In this new home also they were 
restless, and it has been conjectured that the speakers of the 
Tocharish language, which bears curious resemblances to Celtic, 
and is not closely connected with any Indo-European language 
in Asia, may be a much corrupted tongue of some portion of 

1 Herod, ix, 33; xv, 49. 2 Plutarch, Sertorius , 17. 

3 Livy, v, 34 4 Livy, xxxvm, 16. 


them, removed by some Anatolian despot to the remotest corner 
of his empire, much as earlier conquerors had carried the Jews, 
or Xerxes the Branchidae, away beyond Babylon 1 . 

We now return to the peoples of Italy whose languages are so 
closely akin to Celtic. It seems clear from geographical considera- 
tions that the P-peoples of Italy came into the peninsula from the 
north-east and ultimately occupied the greater part of its area. 
Of these peoples the most important, to judge by their existing 
remains, were the Umbrians, in historical times situated eastwards 
of the Apennines, whose territory was encroached upon by the 
Gauls from the north and by the "Etruscans from the west. From 
the Etruscans, as their existing records show, both the Umbrians 
and the Oscans had learnt to write, the Etruscans themselves 
owing the knowledge of writing to the Greeks. Oscan was the 
language of the richest part of Italy, Campania, and its inscrip- 
tions are found sporadically far beyond its confines, in the south 
of Italy and in Sicily. But the wild country of Calabria was always 
thinly peopled and the richer soil of the coast lands to the south 
was early occupied by Greek colonists, who came round through 
the straits of Messina and established themselves on the rich and 
beautiful bay of Naples. 

According to Roman tradition the Romans did not originally 
belong to the land in which we find them. To admit that this is 
true is not to accept the whole story of Aeneas, but when it is 
recognized that the portion of Latium occupied by the Prisci 
Latini was very small, and that the possessions of that stock were 
confined entirely to the right bank of the Tiber, while from the 
hills a little way off there looked down upon them P-peoples like 
the Sabines, closely related to the Oscans, and the Volscians, 
similarly related to the Umbrians, it is clear that the early Latins 
must have forced their way into this country by the Tiber. If the 
P-peoples had been the conquerors they would not have remained 
in the barren hills and left the plain to the Latins. The P-peoples 
were in the barren hills because they had been driven there by 
successful invaders. 

Where the Romans came from there is no evidence to show, 
but it is known that the language of the Sikels was closely related 
to Latin, and it may be conjectured that the invasion of the 
southern coasts of Italy by the Greeks ousted many peoples from 
their homes, if, like the Phocaeans amongst the Greeks them- 
selves, they had refused to remain under an alien sovereignty. 
The ancients thought that the invasion of the lapygians from 
Illyria and of the Oscans from Campania had driven" the Sikels 
1 Strabo, xi, pp. 517-8; Curtius, vii, 5. 


from Italy, even at an earlier period. But the Latin alphabet has 
come from the western Greek alphabet without any intermediary, 
thus showing that the peoples must have been in close contact at 
the period when the alphabet was borrowed. Some Sikels survived 
in Italy even in the time of Thucydides 1 . The Faliscans, the only 
other Q-people of Italy besides the Latins, were clearly but a 
feeble outpost pushed up into the Etruscan country, and in their 
language and artistic products strongly affected by that power. 

Last among the peoples of Europe we come to the German 
stock. The name German has never been used by the stock itself 
in any period of its history, and its origin still remains a matter 
of dispute. Opinions sway this way and that, some scholars 
holding that the word Germani is but the plural of the Latin 
adjective germanus. Accepting this derivation, some explain it as 
meaning the true, or genuine, stock, from which apparently the 
Celts were regarded as an off-shoot, less pure in descent than the 
Germans. As the Celts had moved into their historic habitat 
within comparatively recent times, and as the ancients recognized 
practically no physical differences between Germans and Celts, 
such an explanation is possible. Another view of the term ‘ Ger- 
mani,’ held by Strabo and other ancient writers, was that it is 
used in the sense of brothers, the other members of the family 
being the Celts. Yet another and less probable view of the 
derivation of the word is that its origin is a Gaulish word, gaesum , 
which was used for a heavy javelin. To this word is akin the Old 
High German and Old Saxon ger. Hence, if this derivation were 
correct, the word would mean javelin men, and soldiers so 
equipped and named Gaesati were found amongst the Gauls 2 . 
Be this as it may, we find German tribes throughout their history 
seated to the north of the mountains which surround Bohemia. 
Thus the German country consisted in early times of forests in 
the south, and of sandy heathlands in the north. In those lands 
there is no record of any great migration such as we find fre- 
quently in the case of the Celts. The spread of the people was 
gradual, the population occupying more and more territory as its 
numbers increased. This extension was further developed when 
agriculture began, because it was the Germans’ custom not to 
manure their land, but to occupy new ground when their pre- 
viously occupied land ceased to produce satisfactory harvests 3 . 

1 Thuc. vx, 2-4. 

2 I? 'aieraroi, Polybius, xi, 22, 1. As a Latin word it is not found till late. 
It appears in the name of a Galatian chief, Gezatorix, ‘ king of the spearmen ’ 
(Ramsay, Hist. Geog. As. Minor , p. 444 sq.). 

3 Cp. Caesar, B.G. iv, 1, 7; vi, 22, 2; Tacitus, Germ. 26, 2. 


Before history begins, the population had extended into Jutland, 
and from Jutland into Scandinavia, in the south-east of which 
the most characteristic types of Nordic population still survive. 

Tacitus regards the German tribes as being all of one language, 
but on the eastern side of their country there were some tribes, 
the Fenni, the Venedi, and the Aestii, regarding whose nationality 
he was in doubt. From the name of Aestii is derived the name of 
the country known as Esthonia. The language, and a certain 
element in the population, are of Finnish origin. But the informa- 
tion of Tacitus probably did not extend so far as to enable him 
to distinguish between Finns and Slavs. To the latter the Venedi, 
if they were the ancestors of the modern Wends, would certainly 
belong. If the Bastarnae, who appear in history as early as 179 
b.c., having then joined Philip V of Macedon against the Romans, 
were really Germans, they are the first recorded tribe of this stock; 
but whether they were Germans or Gauls remains still a vexed 
question. The Peucini, who lived upon an island in the Danube, 
were apparently a branch of the Bastarnae. The Cimbri and the 
Teutones, who made such a furious inroad into more southern 
lands between 113 and 101 b.c., are said to have come from the 
north of Germany, driven out by a tremendous flood. In itself 
the flood is not at all impossible, but a people, so driven from its 
homes, would hardly be in fit condition to conduct violent warfare 
with the rest of the world. Their numbers appear to have been 
very large, though probably Plutarch’s estimate of 300,000 
fighting men is a gross exaggeration 1 . It is just as possible 
that, as we see in the next century, the German tribes had out- 
grown their means of subsistence, and were in search of new 
homes. Unfortunately for themselves, they came into districts 
already crowded by a population, which, when well led, was more 
than able to hold its own against them 2 . 

Once more, overcrowding in the first century b.c. led to the expe- 

1 Plutarch, Marius, xi. 

2 Like the Bastarnae, the Dad and the Getae, among whom Ovid spent 

a miserable exile at Tomi on the Black Sea, have been claimed by some 
authorities as having originally a more northern home than Thrace. Others 
see m the Daci the same stock that appears in Asia as Dahai or Daoi, the 
ending -cl (Greek -koI) being regarded as a tribal suffix. The Daoi have 
even been identified with the Indian Daas or Dasyus. These were regarded 
by the Aryans who invaded India as a different and a hostile stock, which 
they subdued and enslaved. Phonetically the identification is possible, for 
in Iranian -s- between vowels passes into -A-, which in a Greek transliteration, 
as Daoi (Aaot) is, would disappear. There is however nothing to show that 
the Dacians and Getae, like the Triballi, Odrysae and many others were 
not of the Thracian stock. " ‘ 


ditions of Ariovistus across the Rhine, which, upon the appearance 
of Julius Caesar in Gaul, had the same ill-fortune as had befallen 
the Cimbri and the Teutones 1 . In later times the same impulse 
drovethe German peoples towards the south-east. The maintenance 
of the Danubian frontier of the Empire against Thracians and 
Germans became ever more difficult. Conquests were continually 
being made and continually the old difficulties arose anew. First the 
Dacians, later the Quadi and other stocks were first resisted and 
later admitted within the bounds of the Empire. The first im- 
portant records of a German stock come from the Moeso-Goths, 
who, in the fourth century a.d. were settled on the northern side of 
the middle Danube, and became converted to Christianity. The 
surviving fragments of Bishop Wulfila’s translation of the Bible 
into Gothic is one of the most important records now existing of 
an early people. But long before this time the German stock had 
forced its way into the Roman Empire, and though there are no 
written records in their language, the scenes figured upon the 
Column of Marcus Aurelius give us considerable information as 
to their appearance, their dress, and their manner of life. 

The most characteristic feature of the German language is the 
so-called sound-shifting, whereby the labial, dental and guttural 
stop-consonants change into sounds different from those of the 
kindred languages, amongst which there is nothing similar, except 
a less extensive change in Armenian. It may be that similar causes 
have produced the same effects, and that the sound-shifting in 
both cases arises from inter-mixture of two peoples, so that a 
Germanic language in a foreign mouth, probably Celtic, would 
have produced these changed forms. It is noticeable that a second 
sound-shifting took place at a much later period in southern Ger- 
many, in a district which, at an earlier time, was certainly occupied 
by Celts. 

The Germanic peoples are generally classified in three groups, 
according to their linguistic characteristics, one group being 
formed by the Scandinavian languages, which were practically 
only one language until the eleventh century a.d. A second group 
is formed by the English, Frisian and German dialects, including 
both High and Low German, and the Franconian, from which 
Dutch and Flemish are descended. The third group consists of 
Gothic, which some scholars are in favour of connecting closely 
with Scandinavian. A Gothic dialect, now lost, was found in the 
Crimea, and a number of its words recorded by Busbecq, on his 
embassy to the Sultan in 1556. This dialect seems to have sur- 
vived to the eighteenth century, but no traces of it now remain. 

1 Caesar, B.G. 1, 53. 




I N spite of the strategic isolation and seeming safety of the 
Nile valley from foreign attack, the country is nevertheless 
vulnerable on both north and south. Since their occupation of 
Egypt the British have been called upon to meet dangerous 
assaults from both directions : from the south at the hands of the 
Mahdist fanatics; and from the north in the Turkish attack on 
the Suez Canal during the Great War. These modern experiences 
of the British in Egypt illustrate very strikingly the ancient 
situation at the beginning of the New Kingdom or Empire. The 
Middle Kingdom had fallen to the Hyksos, the Asiatic invaders 
whom the Egyptians neither forgave nor forgot. •» What little is 
known of this mysterious enemy has been recorded (vol. i, pp. 
310 sqq., cf. p. 233), and with their expulsion by Ahmose 
(Aahmes) Egyptian history enters upon a new stage. 

No sooner had Ahmose { 1 5 51 c - B - c 0 5reed the country 
from the Hyksos pressure on the northern frontiers than he, like- 
wise, was obliged to turn his attention to the south. The long period 
of disorganization following the Middle Kingdom had given the 
Nubians an opportunity to revolt which they did not fail to 
improve. Ahmose invaded the country and how far he penetrated 
we do not know, but he evidently met with no serious resistance 
in the recovery of the old territory between the first and second 
cataracts. He was no sooner well out of the country, however, 
than his inveterate rivals in Egypt south of el-Kab, who had 
troubled him during the Hyksos war, again rose against him. 

1 The following chapters (m-viii) draw extensively from the author’s 
History of Egypt, but every effort has been made to insert all modifications 
and additions which can be gleaned from new monuments or researches, and 
which have appeared since it was published. The plan of avoiding footnotes, 
adopted in the present work, has led to the suppression of some references 
to such new materials, which have therefore been cited only in the more 
important cases. 


Totally defeated in a battle on the Nile, they rose yet again, and 
Ahmose was obliged to quell one more rebellion before he was 
left in undisputed possession of the throne. 

The leader of the noble family of el-Kab, Ahmose son’ of 
Ebana, who continued faithful to the king, was rewarded for his 
valour in these actions by the gift of five slaves and five stat 
(nearly three-and-a-half acres) of land at el-Kab, presented to him 
by his sovereign. It was in this way that the new Pharaoh bound 
his supporters to his cause. He did not stop, however, with land, 
slaves and gold, but in some cases even granted to the local 
princes, the few surviving descendants of the feudal lords of the 
Middle Kingdom, high and royal titles like ‘first king’s son,’ 
which while perhaps conveying few or no prerogatives, satisfied 
the vanity of old and illustrious families, like that of el-Kab, 
which deserved well at his hands. 

There seem to have been but few of the local nobles who thus 
supported Ahmose and gained his favour. The larger number 
opposed both him and the Hyksos and perished in the struggle. 
As their more fortunate rivals were now nothing more than 
administrative, military or court officials, the feudal lords thus 
practically disappeared. The lands which formed their hereditary 
possessions were confiscated and passed to the crown, where they 
permanently remained. There was one notable exception: the 
house of el-Kab, to which the Theban dynasty owed so much, 
was allowed to retain its lands and, two generations after the 
expulsion of the Hyksos, the head of the house appears as lord, 
not only of el-Kab but also of Esneh and all the intervening 
territory. Besides this he was given administrative charge, though 
not hereditary possession, of the lands of the south from the 
vicinity of Thebes (Per-Hathor) to el-Kab. This exception 
serves but to accentuate more sharply the total extinction of the 
landed nobility, which had so largely formed the substance of the 
governmental organization under the Middle Kingdom. We do 
indeed find a handful of barons still bearing their old feudal 
titles, but they resided at Thebes and were buried there. All 
Egypt thus became the personal estate of the Pharaoh, just as it 
did after the destruction of the Mamelukes by Mohammed Ali 
early in the nineteenth century. It is this state of affairs which in 
Hebrew tradition was represented as the direct result of Joseph’s 
sagacity (Gen. xlvii, 19 sg.). 

The course of events, which culminated in the expulsion of 
the Hyksos, determined for Ahmose the form which the new 
state was to assume. He was now at the head of a strong army, 




effectively organized and welded together by long campaigns and 
sieges protracted through years, during which he had been both 
general in the field and head of the state. The character of the 
government followed automatically out of these conditions. Egypt 
became a military state. The long war with the Hyksos had now 
educated the Egyptian as a soldier, the large army of Ahmose 
had spent years in Asia, and had even been for a longer or shorter 
period among the rich cities of Syria 1 . Having thoroughly learned 
war, and having perceived the enormous wealth to be gained by 
it in Asia, the whole land was roused and stirred with a lust of 
conquest, which was not quenched for two centuries. The wealth, 
the rewards and the promotion open to the professional soldier 
were a constant incentive to a military career, and the middle 
classes, usually so unwarlike, now entered the ranks with 
ardour. Among the survivors of the noble class the profession of 
arms became the most attractive of all careers. In the auto- 
biographies w r hich they have left in their tombs at Thebes 
they narrate with the greatest satisfaction the campaigns which 
they went through at the Pharaoh’s side, and the honours which 
he bestowed upon them. Many a campaign, all record of which 
would have been irretrievably lost, has thus come to our know- 
ledge through one of these military biographies, like that of 
Ahmose, son of Ebana, whom we have already named. The sons 
of the Pharaoh, who in the Old Kingdom held administrative 
offices, were now generals in the army. 

For the next century and a half, therefore, the story of the 
achievements of the army will be the story of Egypt, for the 
army had now become the dominant force and the chief motive 
power in the new state. In organization it quite surpassed the 
militia of the old days, if for no other reason than that it was now a 
standing army. It was organized into two grand divisions, one in 
the Delta and the other in the upper country. In Syria it had learned 
tactics and proper strategic disposition of forces, the earliest of 
which we know anything in history. We shall now find partition 
of an army into divisions, we shall hear of wings and centre, we 
shall even trace a flank movement and define battle-lines. All this 
is fundamentally different from the disorganized plundering 
expeditions naively reported as wars by the monuments of the 
older periods. The troops were armed as of old with bow and 
spear, and the infantry was made up of spearmen and archers. 
While the archers of the Middle Kingdom often carried their 

1 Unless otherwise specified, the term Syria is used to include Palestine 
(cf. p. 55 sq.). 


arrows loose in the hand, the quiver 1 had now been introduced 
from Asia. It was thus the easier for them to learn archery ‘fire’ 
by volleys, and the dreaded archers of Egypt now gained a reputa- 
tion which persisted, and which made them feared even in classic 
times. But more than this, the Hyksos having brought the horse 
into Egypt, the Egyptian armies now for the first time possessed 
a large proportion of chariotry. Cavalry in the modern sense of 
the term was not employed. The deft craftsmen of Egypt soon 
mastered the art of chariot-making, while the stables of the 
Pharaoh contained thousands of the best horses to be had in 
Asia. In accordance with the spirit of the time, the Pharaoh was 
accompanied on all public appearances by a body-guard of elite 
troops and a group of his favourite military officers. With such 
force at his back, the man who expelled the Hyksos was thoroughly 
master of the situation. 

It is evidently in large measure to him that we owe the recon- 
struction of the state which was now emerging from the turmoils 
of two centuries of internal disorder and foreign invasion. This 
new state is revealed to us more clearly than that of any other 
period of Egyptian history under native dynasties, and while we 
recognize many elements surviving from earlier times, we discern 
also much that is new. The supreme position occupied by the 
Pharaoh meant a very active participation in the affairs of govern- 
ment. He was accustomed every morning to meet the vizier, 
still the mainspring of the administration, to consult with him 
on all the interests of the country and all the current business 
which necessarily came under his eye. Immediately thereafter he 
held a conference with the chief treasurer. These two men con- 
trolled the chief departments of government : the treasury and the 
judiciary. The Pharaoh’s office, in which they made their daily 
reports to him, was the central organ of the whole government 
where all its lines converged. Even in the limited number of state 
or administrative documents preserved to us, we discern the vast 
array of detailed questions in practical administration which the 
busy monarch decided. The internal administration required 
frequent journeys to examine new buildings and check all sorts 
of official abuses. The official cults in the great temples, too, 
demanded more and more of the monarch’s time and attention as 
the rituals in the vast state temples increased in complexity with 

1 The quiver was known in the Old Kingdom and is mentioned in the 
Pyramid Texts: it was used to some extent in the Middle Kingdom and 
appears in the coffin paintings of that age; but it did not come into general 
use in Egypt until the Empire. 


the development of the elaborate state religion. These journeys 
were in addition to his many enterprises abroad and often required 
his personal leadership. Besides frequent campaigns in Nubia and 
Asia, he visited the quarries and mines in the desert or inspected 
the desert routes, seeking suitable locations for wells and stations. 
In these circumstances the burden inevitably exceeded the 
powers of one man, even with the assistance of his vizier. Early 
in the XVIIIth Dynasty, therefore, the increasing business of 
government constrained the Pharaoh to appoint two viziers, one 
residing at Thebes, for the administration of the south, from 
the cataract as far as the nome of Siut; while the other, who 
had charge of all the region north of the latter point, lived at 

For administrative purposes the territory of Egypt was divided 
into irregular districts, of which there were at least twenty-seven 
between Siut and the cataract. The country as a whole must have 
been divided into over twice that number. In the old towns the 
head of government still bore the feudal title ‘count,’ but this 
now indicated solely administrative duties and might better be 
translated ‘mayor’ or ‘governor.’ There was a ‘town-ruler’ also 
in each of the smaller towns, but elsewhere there were only 
recorders and scribes, with one of their number at- their head. As 
we shall see, these men served both as the administrators, chiefly 
in a fiscal capacity, and also as the judicial officials within their 

The great object of government was to make the country 
economically strong and productive. To secure this end, its lands, 
now chiefly owned by the crown, were worked by the king’s 
serfs, controlled by his officials, or entrusted by him as permanent 
and indivisible fiefs to his favourite nobles, his partisans and 
relatives. Divisible parcels might also be held by tenants of the 
untitled classes. Both classes of holdings might be transferred by 
will or sale in much the same way as if the holder actually owned 
the land. For purposes of taxation all lands and other property of 
the crown, except that held by the temples, were recorded in the 
tax-registers of the White House, as the treasury was still called. 
On the basis of these, taxes were assessed. They were still col- 
lected in kind: cattle, grain, wine, oil, honey, textiles, and the 
like. Besides the cattle-yards, the ‘granary’ was the chief sub- 
department of the White House, and there were innumerable 
other magazines for the storage of its receipts. All the products 
which filled these repositories were termed ‘labour,’ the word 
employed in ancient Egypt as we use ‘taxes.’ If we may accept 


Hebrew tradition as transmitted in the story of Joseph, such 
taxes comprised one-fifth of the produce of the land (Gen. xlvii, 
24 jy.). 

Unlike early Greece and Rome, which for centuries possessed 
no organization of state officials for gathering taxes, the Egyptian 
state from the days of the Old Kingdom had organized its local 
officials chiefly for that purpose. Their collection and their payment 
from the various magazines to pay government debts demanded 
a host of scribes and subordinates, now more numerous than ever 
before in the history of the country. The chief treasurer at their 
head was under the authority of the vizier, to whom the former 
made a report every morning, after which he received permission 
to open the offices and magazines for the day’s business. The 
collection of a second class of revenue, that paid by the local 
officials themselves as a tax upon their offices, was exclusively in 
the hands of the viziers. This tax on the officials consisted chiefly 
of gold, silver, grain, cattle and linen. Unfortunately our sources 
do not permit the calculation of even the approximate total of this 
tax, but the officials under the jurisdiction of the southern vizier 
paid him annually at least some 220,000 grains of gold, nine gold 
necklaces, over 16,000 grains of silver, some forty chests and 
other measures of linen, one hundred and six cattle of all ages 
and some grain. These figures however are short by probably at 
least twenty per cent, of the real total. As the king presumably 
received a similar amount from the northern vizier’s collections, 
this tax on the officials formed a stately sum in the annual 
revenues. But we can form no estimate of the total of all the 

Of the royal income from all sources in the XVIIIth Dynasty 
the southern vizier had general charge. The amount of all taxes 
to be levied and the distribution of the revenue when collected 
were determined in his office, where a balance-sheet was constantly 
kept. In order to control both income and outgoings, a monthly fiscal 
report was made to him by all local officials, and thus the southern 
vizier was able to furnish the king from month to month with a 
full statement of prospective resources in the royal treasury. The 
taxes were so dependent, as they still are, upon the height of the 
inundation and the consequent prospects of a plentiful or scanty 
harvest, that the level of the rising river was also reported to him. 
As the income of the crown was, henceforth, largely augmented 
by foreign tribute, this was also received by the southern vizier 
and by him communicated to the king. The great vizier, Rekh- 
mire, depicts himself in the gorgeous reliefs in his tomb receiving 


both the tribute of the Asiatic vassal-princes and that of the 
Nubian chiefs. 

In the administration of justice the southern vizier played even 
a greater role than in the treasury. Here he was supreme. The 
magnates of the ‘Southern Tens,’ as they were called, once 
possessed of important judicial functions, and ‘ the six great houses’ 
or courts of justice, of which the vizier was ‘chief,’ had lost their 
power or disappeared. Meanwhile, the officers of administration 
were incidentally the dispensers of justice. They constantly served 
in a judicial capacity. Although there was no class of judges with 
exclusively legal duties, every man of important administrative 
rank was thoroughly versed in the law and must be ready at any 
moment to serve as judge. The vizier was no exception. All 
petitioners for legal redress applied first to him in his audience 
hall; if possible in person, but in any case in writing. For this 
purpose he held a daily audience or ‘sitting’ as the Egyptian 
called it. Every morning the people crowded into the ‘ hall of the 
vizier,’ where the ushers and bailiffs jostled them into line that 
they might ‘be heard,’ in order of arrival, one after another. In 
cases concerning land located in Thebes he was obliged by law 
to render a decision in three days, but if the land lay in the 
‘South or North’ he required two months. Such cases demanded 
rapid and convenient access to the archives. They were therefore 
all filed in his offices. No one might make a will without filing it 
in the ‘vizier’s hall.’ Copies of all nome archives, boundary 
records and all contracts were deposited with him or with his 
colleague in the north. Every petitioner to the king was obliged 
to hand in his petition in writing at the same office. 

Besides the vizier’s ‘hall,’ also called ‘the great council,’ there 
were local courts throughout the land, not primarily of a legal 
character, being, as we have already explained, merely the body of 
administrative officials in each district, who were corporately em- 
powered to try cases. They were the ‘great men of the town,’ or 
the local ‘council,’ and acted as the local representatives of the 
‘great council.’ The number of these local courts is entirely 
uncertain, but the most important two known were at Thebes 
and Memphis. At Thebes its composition varied from day to day; 
in cases of a delicate nature, where the members of the royal 
house were implicated, it was appointed by the vizier; and in case 
of conspiracy against the ruler, the monarch himself commis- 
sioned them, with instructions to determine who were the guilty, 
and with power to execute the sentence. All courts were largely 
made up of priests. They did not, however, enjoy the best reputa- 


tion among the people, who bewailed the hapless plight of ‘the 
one who stands alone before the court when he is a poor man 
and his opponent is rich, while the court oppresses him (saying), 
cc Silver and gold for the scribes ! Clothing for the servants i ” ’ For 
of course the bribe of the rich was often stronger than the justice 
of the poor man’s cause. 

The law to which the poor appealed had long since been 
recorded in writing, and much of it was undoubtedly very old. 
The vizier was obliged to keep it constantly before him, contained 
in forty rolls (four decalogues) which were laid out before his 
dais at all his public sessions, where they were doubtless accessible 
to all. Unfortunately this code has perished, but of its justice we 
can have no doubt, for apparently already in the Middle Kingdom 
the vizier had been admonished by the Pharaoh: ‘Forget not to 
judge justice. It is an abomination of the god to show partiality. 
. . . Behold the dread of a prince is that he does justice. ... As for 
him who shall do justice before all the people, it is the vizier.’ 
Even conspirators against the king’s life were not summarily put 
to death, but were handed over to a legally constituted court to 
be duly tried, and condemned only when found guilty. The 
great world of the Nile-dwellers under the Empire was therefore 
not at the mercy of arbitrary whim on the part of either king or 
court, but was ’governed by a large body of long respected law, 
embodying principles of justice and humanity. See pp. 210 sqq. 

The motive power behind the organization and administration 
of Egypt was the southern vizier. We recall that he went in every 
morning and took council with the Pharaoh on the affairs of the 
country; and the only other check upon his untrammelled control 
of the state was a lav/ constraining him to report the condition of 
his administration to the chief treasurer. His office was the means 
of communication with the local authorities, who reported to him 
in writing on the first day of each season, that is, three times a 
year. It is in his office then that we discern the complete centraliza- 
tion of government in practically all its functions. He was minister 
of war for both army and navy, and he had legal control of the 
temples throughout the country, so that he was minister of 
ecclesiastical affairs. Besides his treasury responsibilities, he had 
economic oversight of many important resources of the country; 
for no timber could be cut without his permission, and the ad- 
ministration of irrigation and water supply was under his charge. 
In order to establish the calendar for state business, the rising of 
Sirius was reported to him (cf. vol. 1, p. x 6 8 ). He exercised advisory 
functions in all the offices of the state; so long as his office was 

i nr. XLAt'AINMUJN OE EGYPT [chap, 

undivided with a vizier of the north he was grand steward of all 
Egypt. He was a veritable Joseph, and it must have been this 
office which the Hebrew narrator had in mind as that to which 
Joseph was appointed. He was regarded by the people as their 
great protector, and no higher praise could be proffered to Amon 
when addressed by a worshipper than to call him ‘the poor man’s 
vizier who does not accept the bribe of the guilty.’ His appoint- 
ment was of such importance that it was made by the king 
himself, and the instructions given him by the monarch on that 
occasion were not such as we should expect from the lips of an 
oriental conqueror three thousand five hundred years ago. They 
display a spirit of kindness and humanity and exhibit an apprecia- 
tion of statecraft surprising in an age so remote 1 . Such was the 
government of the imperial age in Egypt. 

In society the disappearance of the landed nobility, and the 
administration of the local districts by an army of petty func- 
tionaries of the crown, opened the way more fully than in the 
Middle Kingdom for numerous official careers among the middle 
class. These opportunities must have worked a gradual change in 
their condition. One such official relates his obscure origin thus: 
‘Ye shall talk of it, one to another, and the old men shall teach 
it to the youth. I was one whose family was poor and whose 
town was small, but the Lord of Two Lands [the king] recognized 
me; I was accounted great in his heart, the king. . .in the 
splendour of his palace saw me. He exalted me more than the 
courtiers, introducing me among the princes of the palace. , . . ’ 
Such possibilities of promotion and royal favour awaited success 
in local administration; for in some local office the career of this 
unknown official in the small town must have begun. Thus there 
grew up a new official class, its lower ranks drawn from the old 
middle class, while on the other hand in its upper strata were the 
relatives and dependents of the old landed nobility, by whom the 
higher and mere important local offices were administered. Here 
the official class gradually merged into the large circle of royal 
favourites who filled the great offices of the central government 
or commanded the Pharaoh’s forces on his campaigns. As there 
was no longer a feudal nobility, the great government officials and 
military commanders became the nobles of the Empire, or the 

1 These extraordinary instructions of the Pharaoh addressed to the vizier 
at the latter’s installation are preserved only in the Empire; but they are 
doubtless of Middle Kingdom date. See Breasted, Development of Religion 
and Thought in Ancient Egypt , pp. 238-246, where they will be found 


New Kingdom, as it is otherwise called. The old middle class of 
merchants, skilled craftsmen and artists also still survived and 
continued to replenish the lower ranks of the official class. Below 
these were the masses who worked the fields and estates, the serfs 
of the Pharaoh. They formed so large a portion of the inhabitants 
that the Hebrew scribe, evidently writing from the outside, knew 
only this class of society beside the priests (Gen. xlvii, 2 1). These 
lower strata passed away and left little or no trace, but the official 
class was now able to erect tombs and mortuary stelae in such 
surprising numbers that they furnish us with a vast mass of 
materials for reconstructing the life and customs of the time. 

An official who took the census in the XVIIIth Dynasty 
divided the people into ‘soldiers, priests, royal serfs and all the 
craftsmen,’ and this classification is corroborated by all that we 
know of the time; although we must understand that all callings 
of the free middle class are here included among the ‘soldiers.’ 
The soldiers in the standing army had therefore now also become 
a social class. The free middle class, liable to military service, 
were called ‘citizens of the army,’ a term already known in the 
Middle Kingdom, but now very common; so that liability to 
military service became the significant designation of this class of 
society. Politicajly the soldier’s influence grew with every reign 
and he soon became the natural support of the Pharaoh in the 
execution of numerous civil commissions where formerly the 
soldier had never been employed. 

Side by side with the soldier appeared another new and power- 
ful influence, the ancient institution of the priesthood. As a 
natural consequence of the great wealth of the temples under the 
Empire, the priesthood became a profession, no longer merely an 
incidental office held by a layman, as in the Old and Middle 
Kingdoms. As the priests increased in numbers they gained more 
and more political power; while the growing wealth of the temples 
demanded for its proper administration a veritable army of temple 
officials of all sorts, who were unknown in the old days of sim- 
plicity. Probably one-fourth of all the persons buried in the great 
and sacred cemetery of Abydos at this period were priests. 
Priestly communities had thus grown up. All these priestly bodies 
were now united in a new sacerdotal organization embracing the 
whole land. The head of the state temple at Thebes, the High 
Priest of Amon, was the supreme head of this greater body also, 
and his power was thereby increased far beyond that of his older 
rivals at Heliopolis and Memphis. Thus priests, soldiers and 
officials now stood together as three great social classes. 

C.A.H. II 



The state religion maintained by the priesthood was in its 
outward observances richer and more elaborate than Egypt had 
ever seen before. The days of the old simplicity were for ever 
past. The wealth gained by foreign conquest enabled the Pharaohs 
henceforth to endow the temples with such riches as no sanc- 
tuary of the old days had ever possessed.' '^he temples grew into 
vast and gorgeous palaces, each with its coinmunity of priests, 
and the high priest of such a community in the larger centres 
was a veritable sacerdotal prince, wielding considerable political 
power. The high priest’s wife at Thebes was cabled the chief 
concubine of the god, whose real consort was no less a person 
than the queen herself, who was therefore known as the ‘ Divine 
Consort.’ In the gorgeous ritual which now prevailed, her part was 
to lead the singing of the women who participated in the service. 
She possessed also a fortune, which belonged to the temple en- 
dowment, and for this reason it was desirable that the queen should 
hold the office in order to retain this fortune in the royal house. 

The supremacy of Amon now followed the triumph of a noble 
of Thebes as it had not done in the Middle Kingdom. Although 
the rise of a Theban family had then given him some distinction, 
it was not until now that he became the great god of the state. 
His essential character and individuality had already been ob- 
scured by the solar theology of the Middle Kingdom, when he 
had become Amon-Re, and, with some attributes borrowed from 
his ithyphallic neighbour, Min of Coptos, he now rose to a unique 
and supreme position of unprecedented splendour. He was 
popular with the people, too, and, as a Moslem says, Inshallah 
(‘ If Allah will ’), so the Egyptian now added to all his promises 
‘ If Amon spare my life.’ They called him the ‘vizier of the poor,’ 
the people carried to him their wants and wishes, and their hopes 
for future prosperity were implicitly staked upon his favour. But 
the fusion of the old gods had not deprived Amon alone of his 
individuality, for in the general flux almost any god might possess 
the qualities and functions of the others, although the dominant 
position was still occupied by the Sun-god. 

The tendencies already plainly observable in the Middle 
Kingdom had shaped the mortuary beliefs of the Empire. The 
magical formulae by which the dead were to triumph in the 
Hereafter became more and more numerous, so that it was no 
longer possible to record them on the inside of the coffin, but 
they must be written on papyrus and the roll placed in the tomb 1 . 

1 It is now known that this practice had its beginnings in the Middle 


III, i] 


A highly variable selection of the most important of these texts 
formed what we now call ‘The Book of the Dead.’ It was 
dominated throughout by magic; by this all-powerful means a dead 
man might effect all that he desired. The luxurious lords of the 
Empire no longer looked forward with pleasure to the prospect 
of ploughing, sowing and reaping in the happy fields of Yaru. 
To escape such peasant labour a statuette bearing the implements 
of labour in the field and inscribed with a potent charm was 
placed in the tomb. It insured to the deceased immunity from 
such toil, which would always be performed by this miniature 
representative of the deceased whenever the call to the fields was 
heard. Such ‘ushabtis,’ or ‘respondents,’ as they were termed, 
were now placed in the necropolis by scores and hundreds. 

This magical means of obtaining material good was now un- 
fortunately transferred also to the world of ethical values in order 
to secure exemption from the consequences of an evil life. A 
sacred beetle or scarabaeus was cut from stone and inscribed with 
a charm, beginning with the significant words, ‘O my heart, rise 
not up against me as a witness.’ So powerful was this cunning 
invention when laid upon the breast of the mummy under the 
wrappings, that when the guilty soul stood in the judgment-hall 
in the awful prqsence of Osiris, the accusing voice of the heart 
was silenced and the great god did not perceive the evil of which 
it would testify. Likewise the rolls of the Book of the Dead con- 
taining, besides all the other charms, also the scene of judgment, 
and especially the welcome verdict of acquittal, were now sold 
by the priestly scribes to anyone with the means to buy. The 
fortunate purchaser’s name was then inserted in the blanks left 
for this purpose throughout the document; thus securing for him 
the certainty of such a verdict, before it was known whose name 
should be so inserted. The invention of these devices by the 
priests, in the effort to stifle the admonishing voice within, was 
undoubtedly subversive of moral progress. The moral aspirations 
which had come into the religion of Egypt through the Solar 
theology, and had been greatly quickened by the Osirian myth, 
were now choked and poisoned by the assurance that, however 
vicious a man’s life, exculpation in the hereafter could be pur- 
chased at any time from the priests. The priestly literature on the 
Hereafter, produced probably for no other purpose than for gain, 
continued to grow. We have a ‘Book of What is in the Nether 
W T orld,’ describing the twelve caverns, or hours of the night 
through which the Sun passed beneath the earth, and a ‘Book of 
the Portals,’ treating of the gates and strongholds between these 




caverns. Although these edifying compositions never gained the 
wide circulation enjoyed by the Book of the Dead, the former of 
the two was engraved in the tombs of the XIXth and XXth 
Dynasty kings at Thebes, showing that these grotesque creations 
of the perverted priestly imagination finally gained the credence 
of the highest circles. See further, pp. 197 sqq. 

The cemetery graphically illustrates these developments in 
Egyptian religion. As before, the tomb of the noble consisted of 
chambers hewn in the face of the cliff, and in accordance with the 
prevailing tendency its interior walls were painted with imaginary 
scenes from the next world and with mortuary and religious texts, 
many of them of a magical character. At the same time the tomb 
has also become more of a personal monument to the deceased; 
and the walls of the chapel bear many scenes from his life, 
especially from his official career, including particularly all 
honours received from the king. Thus the cliffs opposite Thebes, 
honey-combed as they are with the tombs of the lords of the 
Empire, contain whole chapters of the life and history of the 
period, with which we shall now deal. In a solitary valley, the 
‘Valley of the Kings’ Tombs,’ behind these cliffs the kings 
excavated their own tombs in the limestone walls and the pyramid 
was no longer employed. Deep galleries were. driven into the 
cliffs, and passing from hall to hall, they terminated many 
hundreds of feet from the entrance in a large chamber, where the 
body of the king was laid in a huge stone sarcophagus. It is 
possible that the whole excavation was intended to represent the 
passages of the Nether World along which the sun passed in his 
nightly journey. 

On the plain east of this valley of tombs (the western plain of 
Thebes), just as the pyramid temple was built on the east side of 
the pyramid, arose the splendid mortuary temples of the emperors, 
of which we shall later have occasion to say more. But these 
elaborate mortuary customs were now no longer confined to the 
Pharaoh and his nobles; the necessity for such equipment in 
preparation for the hereafter was now felt by all classes. The 
manufacture of such materials, resulting from the gradual ex- 
tension of these customs, had become an industry; the embalmers, 
undertakers and manufacturers of coffins and tomb furniture 
occupied a quarter at Thebes, forming almost a guild by them- 
selves, as they did in later Greek times. The middle class were 
now frequently able to excavate and decorate a tomb; but when 
too poor for this luxury, they rented a place for their dead in 
great common tombs maintained by the priests, and here the 


embalmed body was deposited in a chamber where the mummies 
were piled up like faggots, but nevertheless received the benefit 
of the ritual maintained for all in common. 


As Ahmose I gradually gained leisure from his arduous wars, 
the new state and the new conditions slowly emerged. None of 
his buildings and few of his monuments have survived. His 
greatest work remains the XVIIIth Dynasty itself, for whose 
brilliant career his own achievements had laid so firm a foundation. 
Notwithstanding his reign of at least twenty-two years, Ahmose 
must have died young (1557 b.c.) for his mother was still living 
in the tenth year of his son and successor, Amenhotep I. By him 
he was buried in the old Xlth Dynasty cemetery at the north end 
of the western Theban plain. The jewellery of his mother, stolen 
from her neighbouring tomb at a remote date, was found by 
Mariette concealed in the vicinity; and it, together with the body 
of Ahmose I, is now preserved in the Museum at Cairo. 

Affairs in Africa were not long to withhold the sovereigns of 
the new dynasty from the great achievements which awaited them. 
Nubia had so long been without a strong arm from the north 
that Amenhotep I, Ahmose’s successor, was obliged to invade 
the country in force. He penetrated to the Middle Kingdom 
frontier at the second cataract and, having thoroughly defeated 
the most powerful chief, placed northern Nubia under the ad- 
ministration of the mayor or governor of the old city of Nekhen 
(Hieraconpolis), which now became the northern limit of a 
southern administrative district, including all the territory on the 
south of it, controlled by Egypt, at least as far as northern Nubia, 
or Wawat. From this time the new governor was able to go north 
with the tribute of the country regularly every year. 

There was similar trouble in the v/estern Delta where the long 
period of weakness and disorganization accompanying the rule of 
the Hyksos had given the Libyans the opportunity, which they 
had always seized, of pushing in and occupying the rich Delta 
lands. Though our only source does not mention any such in- 
vasion, it is evident that Amenhotep I’s war with the Libyans at 
this particular time can be explained in no other way. Finding 
their aggressions too threatening to be longer ignored, the Pharaoh 
now drove them back and invaded their country. Having thus 
relieved his frontiers and secured Nubia, Amenhotep was at 


liberty to turn his arms toward Asia. Unfortunately we have no 
records of his Syrian war, but he seems to have penetrated far to 
the north, even to the Euphrates; for he accomplished enough 
to enable his successor to boast of ruling as far as that river before 
the latter had himself undertaken any Asiatic conquests. The 
architect who erected his Theban buildings, all of which have 
perished, narrates the king’s death at Thebes, after a reign of at 
least ten years. 

There is some doubt whether Amenhotep I left a son entitled 
to the throne. His successor, Thutmose I, was the son of a woman 
whose birth and family are of doubtful connection, and her great 
son evidently gained the kingship by his marriage with a princess 
of the old line, named Ahmose, through whom he could assert a 
valid claim to the throne. This occurred about January, 1 540 or 
1 535 b.c. Thutmose I at once gave his attention to Nubia, which 
he reorganized by withdrawing it from the control of the mayor 
of Nekhen and placing it under the administration of a viceroy 
with the title: ‘Governor of the South Countries, King’s-Son of 
Kush,’ although he was not necessarily a member of the royal 
household or of royal birth. The jurisdiction of the new viceroy 
extended to the fourth cataract, and it was the region between this 
southern limit and the first cataract which was known as Kush. 
There was still no great or dominant kingdom in Kush, nor in 
lower Nubia, but the country was under the rule of powerful 
chiefs, each controlling a limited territory. It was impossible to 
suppress these native rulers at once and nearly two hundred years 
after this we still find the chiefs of Kush and a chief of Wawat 
as far north as Ibrim. 

In the time of Thutmose I the southern half of the new 
province was far from being sufficiently pacified, and the king 
went south early in his second year, personally to oversee the 
task of more thorough subjugation. Leaving the first cataract 
in February or March, by early April Thutmose had reached 
Tangur, about seventy-five miles above the second cataract. 
Having beaten the barbarians in a decisive battle, he pushed on 
through the exceedingly difficult country of the second and third 
cataracts — where his scribes and officers "have left a trail of names 
and titles scratched on the rocks. At the island of Tombos he 
emerged upon the rich and fertile Dongola province of to-day. 
Here he erected a fortress, of which some remains still survive, 
and garrisoned it with troops from the army of conquest, who 
were to guard the new territory stretching two hundred and fifty 
miles around the great bend of the Nile from the third to the 
foot of the fourth cataract. In August of the same year, five 


months after he had passed Tangur on the way up, he erected 
five tablets of victory beside Tombos, on which he boasts of 
ruling from his new southern frontier to the Euphrates on the 
north, a statement to which his own achievements in Asia did not 
yet entitle him. He then began a leisurely return, the slowness of 
which we can only explain by supposing that he devoted much 
time to the reorganization and thorough pacification of the country 
on his way; for he did not reach the first cataract until some seven 
months after he had erected his monuments of victory at Tombos. 
With the body of the Nubian chief hanging head downward at 
the bow of his royal barge, the king passed through the canal at 
the first cataract and sailed triumphantly northward to Thebes. 

The Pharaoh was now able to give his attention to a similar 
task at the other extremity of his realm, in Asia. Evidently the 
conquests of Amenhotep I, which had enabled Thutmose I to 
claim the Euphrates as his northern boundary, had not been 
sufficient to ensure to the Pharaoh’s treasury the regular tribute 
which he was now enjoying from Nubia, but the conditions in 
Syria were very favourable for a long continuance of Egyptian 
supremacy. The geography of the country along the eastern end 
of the Mediterranean is not such as to permit the gradual 
amalgamation t of small and petty states into one great nation, 
as had already taken place in the valleys of the Nile and the 
Euphrates. From north to south, roughly parallel with the four 
hundred miles of eastern Mediterranean coast, the region is 
traversed by rugged mountain ranges, in two main ridges, known 
as the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon in the north. In the south, 
Lebanon, the western ridge, with some interruptions, drops 
finally into the bare and forbidding hills of Judah, which merge 
then into the desert of Sinai south of Palestine. South of the plain 
of Megiddo, it throws off the transverse ridge of Carmel, which 
drops like a Gothic buttress, abruptly to the sea. Anti-Lebanon, 
the eastern ridge, not beginning as far north as Lebanon, shifts 
somewhat farther eastward in its southern course, interrupted 
here and there, especially near Damascus, and spreading on the 
east of the Dead Sea in the mountains of Moab, its southern 
flanks are likewise lost in the sandy plateau of northern Arabia. 
Between the two Lebanons, in the fertile valley traversed by the 
river Orontes, lies the only extensive region in Syria not cut up 
by hills and mountains, where a strong kingdom might develop 1 . 

1 This valley, the Amkl (‘valley’) of the Amarna Letters, and the classical 
Coelesyria (in its most restricted application), is represented by the modern 
Beks' (Buka‘), although this term is otherwise applied rather to the high 
portion of the Orontes valley, south of Kadesh. 




The coast is completely isolated from the interior by the 
ridge of Lebanon, along whose western slopes a people might 
rise to wealth and power only by maritime expansion. On the 
other hand, in the south, Palestine, with its harbourless coast 
and its large tracts of desolate limestone hills, hardly furnished 
the economic basis for the development of a strong nation. 
Palestine is, moreover, badly cut up, both by the transverse ridge 
of Carmel and by the deep cleft in which lie the Jordan and the 
Dead Sea. Along almost its entire eastern frontier, Syria-Palestine 
merges into the northern extension of the Arabian desert, save 
in the extreme north, where the valley of the Orontes and that 
of the Euphrates almost blend, just as they part, the one to seek 
the Mediterranean by the Gulf of Alexandretta (Issus), while the 
other turns away toward Babylon and the Persian Gulf. Syria- 
Palestine is thus a narrow strip some four hundred miles long 
and only eighty to a hundred miles wide, hemmed in by the sea 
on the west and the desert on the east. The long corridor thus 
formed between desert and sea is the narrow bridge joining Asia 
and Africa, and the nations distributed along it were inevitably 
involved in the great rivalry between the leading powers of the 
two continents as they struggled for supremacy in the earliest 
imperial rivalries which the inter-continental dominion of the 
Hyksos had provoked. 

The Semitic population which the ancient Pharaohs of the Old 
Kingdom had found in this region had doubtless been augmented 
by additional migrations of the nomads from the grassy fringes 
of the desert. In the north these people were Amorites and, sub- 
sequently, Aramaeans, while in the south they may be most con- 
veniently designated as Canaanites (p. 376 n. 1). In general these 
people showed little genius for government, and were totally with- 
out any motives for consolidation. Divided by the physical con- 
formation of the country, they were organized into numerous city- 
kingdoms, or petty principalities, each consisting of a city, with the 
surrounding fields and outlying villages, all under the rule of a 
local dynast, who lived and ruled in the city. Each city had not only 
its own kinglet, but also its own god, a local bd'dl (Baal) or ‘lord,’ 
with whom was often associated a bd‘dlath or ‘lady,’ a goddess like 
that of Byblus. These miniature kingdoms were embroiled in 
frequent wars with one another, each dynast endeavouring to 
unseat his neighbour and absorb his territory and revenues. 
Exceeding all the others in size was the kingdom of Kadesh, 
probably the surviving nucleus of Hyksos power. It had developed 
in the only place where the conditions permitted such an ex- 



pansion, occupying a very advantageous position on the Orontes. 
It thus commanded the road northward through inner Syria, the 
route of commerce from Egypt and the south, which, following 
the Orontes, diverged thence to the Euphrates, to cross to Assyria, 
or descend the Euphrates to Babylon. Being likewise at the north 
end of both Lebanons, Kadesh commanded also the road from 
the interior seaward through the Eleutherus valley to the Phoeni- 
cian harbours, especially Arvad and Simyra. We now discern it 
for two generations, struggling desperately to maintain its inde- 
pendence, and only crushed at last by twenty years of warfare 
under Thutmose III. 

Some of these kingdoms of the interior possessed a high degree 
of civilization. The craftsmen of Syria learned the arts and crafts 
from the far older civilization on the Nile. Babylonian caravans 
and trade had brought in cuneiform writing, which was in common 
use throughout Syria and far across the Hittite world of Asia 
Minor; while intrusive elements of culture from the Hittite 
peoples, as well as from the remarkable civilization of Crete and 
the Aegean were imparting additional diversity to the composite 
civilization of this inter-continental region. Like the rest of Asia, 
the peoples of this region knew more of the art of war than the 
Egyptians, and in this particular they had, during Hyksos 
supremacy, taught the Egyptians much. 

The Semites were inveterate traders, and an animated com- 
merce was passing from town to town, where the market-place 
was a busy scene of traffic as it is to-day. On the scanty western 
slopes of the Lebanon, Semites had by this time long gained a 
footing on the coast, to become the Phoenicians of historic times. 
The earliest known reference to them is in the Old Kingdom, 
where the Egyptians already had dealings with them. The Phoe- 
nicians, although hardly as yet a great maritime power — a position 
more probably held by the Cretans — at least participated in the 
sea-trade. They entered the Nile mouths, and, sailing up the great 
river, moored at Thebes and trafficked in its extensive bazaars. 
Here they perfected their knowledge of the practical arts, learning 
especially how to cast hollow bronzes, and the new art of making 
glass vessels which arose in Egypt in the XVIIIth Dynasty. 
Creeping westward along the coast of Asia Minor they gradually 
gained Rhodes and the islands of the Aegean; the date is dis- 
puted, though it may be as early as 1 200 b . c . In many a favourable 
harbour they eventually established their colonies (see p. 3 79). 
Their manufactories multiplied; and everywhere throughout the 
regions which they reached, their wares were prominent in the 


markets. As their wealth increased, every harbour along the 
Phoenician coast was the seat of a rich and flourishing city, among 
which Tyre, Sidon, Beirut, Byblus, Arvad and, the northernmost, 
Simyra, were the greatest, each being the seat of a wealthy dynasty. 
Thus it was that in the Homeric poems the Phoenician merchant 
and his wares were proverbial: the commercial and maritime 
activity of the Phoenicians, as it had been at the rise of the Egyptian 
Empire, thereafter increased greatly when relieved of all competi- 
tion by the fall of that Empire and the collapse of Cretan power. 

The civilization which the Egyptians found in the northern 
Mediterranean was Cretan. The sea-people who appear with 
‘Mycenaean’ vessels as gifts and tribute for the Pharaoh in 
this age, are termed by the Egyptian monuments men of 
Keftiu (Keftoyew), and so regular was the traffic of the Phoenician 
fleets with these people that the Phoenician craft plying on these 
voyages were known as ‘Keftiu ships.’ All this northern region 
was known to the Egyptians as the ‘ Isles of the Sea,’ for, having 
at first no acquaintance with the interior of Asia Minor, they 
supposed it to be but island coasts, like those of the Aegean. In 
northern Syria, on the upper reaches of the Euphrates, the world, 
as conceived by the Egyptians, ended in the marshes in which 
they thought the Euphrates had its rise, and these again were 
encircled by the ‘Great Circle,’ the ocean, which was the end of all. 

The northern Mediterranean world, apart from the Phoeni- 
cians, and practically all the great peninsula of Asia Minor were 
non-Semitic. In the great bend of the Euphrates where it sweeps 
westward toward Syria there was another non-Semitic intrusion. 
A group of warriors of Iran had by x 500 b.c. pushed westward 
to the upper Euphrates. In the great western bend of the river 
they established an Aryan dynasty ruling the kingdom of Mitanni 1 . 
Their influence and language extended westward to Tunip in the 
Orontes valley and eastward to Nineveh. They formed a powerful 
and cultivated state, which, planted thus on the road leading 
westward from Babylon along the Euphrates, effectively cut off 
the latter from her profitable western trade, and doubtless had 
much to do with the decline in which Babylon, under her foreign 
Kassite dynasty, now found herself. Assyria was as yet but a 
relatively feeble city-kingdom, whose coming struggle with 
Babylon only rendered the Pharaohs less liable to interference 
from the east, in the realization of their plans of conquest in Asia. 
Everything thus conspired to favour the permanence of Egyptian 
power there. 

1 See vol. x, p. 452 sq., and below, pp. 230, 261 sq., 297. 


Seemingly without serious opposition, Thutmose I reached the 
region of Naharin, or the land of the ‘rivers,’ as the name signifies, 
which was the Egyptian designation of the country of Mitanni", 
as contrasted with its people. The ensuing battle resulted in a 
great slaughter of the Asiatics, followed by the capture of a large 
number of prisoners. Unfortunately for our knowledge of 
Thutmose I’s campaigns in Asia, we are dependent entirely upon 
the scanty autobiographies of the two Ahmoses of el-Kab, which 
offer us little more than the bald fact of the first campaign, and 
do not recount any other. Somewhere along the Euphrates at its 
nearest approach to the Mediterranean, Thutmose now erected 
a stone boundary-tablet, marking the northern and, at this point, 
the eastern limit of his Syrian possessions. He had made good the 
boast so proudly recorded, possibly only a year before, on the 
tablet marking the other extreme frontier of his empire at the 
third cataract of the Nile. Henceforth he was even less measured 
in his claims, for he later boasted to the priests of Abydos, ‘I 
made the boundary of Egypt as far as the circuit of the sun, I 
made strong those who had been in fear, I expelled evil from 
them, I made Egypt to become the sovereign and every land her 
serfs’ — words in which it is evident we must see a reference to 
Egypt’s deliverance from humiliation under Hyksos rule and her 
ensuing supremacy in Asia. 

How much Thutmose I may have been able to accomplish in 
organizing his conquests in Asia we do not yet know. He seems 
to have been able to retire from his Asiatic war without anxiety 
and devote himself to the regeneration of Egypt. He was thus 
able to begin the restoration of the temples so neglected since the 
time of the Hyksos. The modest old temple of the Middle King- 
dom monarchs at Thebes was no longer in keeping with the 
Pharaoh’s increasing wealth and pomp. His chief architect, Ineni, 
was therefore commissioned to erect two massive pylons, or 
towered gateways, in front of the old Amon-temple, and between 
these a covered hall, with the roof supported upon large cedar 
columns, brought of course, like the splendid electron-tipped 
flag staves of cedar at the temple front, from the new possessions 
in the Lebanon. The huge door was likewise of Asiatic bronze, 
with the image of the god upon it, inlaid with gold. He likewise 
restored the revered temple of Osiris at Abydos, equipping it 
with rich ceremonial implements and furniture of silver and gold, 
with magnificent images of the gods, such as it had doubtless lost 
in Hyksos days. Admonished by his advancing years, he also 
endowed it with an income for the offering of mortuary oblations 


to himself, giving the priests instructions regarding the pre- 
servation of his name and memory. 

Thutmose I was now an old man and the claim to the throne 
which he had thus far successfully maintained may have been 
weakened by the death of his queen, Ahmose, to whom it is 
probable his only valid claim to the crown was due. She was the 
descendant and representative of the old Theban princes who 
had fought and expelled the Hyksos, and there was a strong 
party who regarded the blood of this line as alone entitled to 
royal honours. All her children had died save one daughter, 
Makere-Hatshepsut, who was thus the only child of the old line, 
and so strong was the party of legitimacy, that they had forced 
the king, years before, at about the middle of his reign, to pro- 
claim her his successor, in spite of the disinclination general 
throughout Egyptian history to submit to the rule of a queen. 
The close of the reign of Thutmose I is involved in deep obscurity, 
and there is no reconstruction without its difficulties. The traces 
left on temple walls by family dissensions are not likely to be 
sufficiently conclusive to enable us to follow the complicated 
struggle with entire certainty three thousand five hundred years 
later. The current verdict of historians has long been that 
Thutmose II, a feeble and diseased son of the ^ old Pharaoh, 
followed at once upon his father’s demise. His brief reign is of 
such slight consequence, however, that its exact place in the 
transition from Thutmose I to Hatshepsut and Thutmose III is 
not of great importance 1 . 

Hatshepsut’s partisans were not able to crown their favourite 
without a difficult struggle with a third Thutmose. He was the 
son of an obscure concubine named Isis, and there is some un- 
certainty whether the first or the second Thutmose was his father. 
It is probable that he married Hatshepsut, thus gaining a valid 
title to the throne. Placed in the Karnak temple as a priest of low 
rank, he had ere long won the priesthood to his support. By a 
dramatic coup d'etat which was at first completely successful, on 
the third of May, in the year 1501 b.c. 2 , the young Thutmose III 
suddenly stepped from the duties of an obscure prophet of Amon 

1 The present writer has heretofore followed Sethe in contending that 
Hatshepsut followed immediately upon Thutmose I, and that the early part 
of her reign was interrupted by the brief reign of Thutmose II. He is still 
unable to see how any other reconstruction can be successfully based on the 

2 Or three years earlier — accepting Sethe’s dating — see footnote below, 
P-6 7- 


into the palace of the Pharaohs. On his earliest monuments he 
made no reference to any co-regency of Hatshepsut, his queen, in 
the royal titulary preceding the dedication. Indeed he allowed 
her no more honourable title than ‘great’ or ‘chief royal wife.’ 
But the party of legitimacy was not to be so easily put off. Before 
long the queen’s partisans had become so strong that the king 
was seriously hampered, and eventually even thrust into the 
background. Hatshepsut thus became king, an enormity with 
which the state fiction of the Pharaoh’s origin could not be 
harmonized. She was called ‘the female Horus ! ’ The word 
‘majesty’ was given a feminine ending (as in Egyptian it agrees 
with the sex of the ruler), and the conventions of the court were 
all warped and distorted to suit the rule of a woman. 

The queen now entered upon an aggressive career: she is the 
first great woman in history of whom we are informed. Her father’s 
architect, Ineni, thus defines the position of the two : after a brief 
reference to Thutmose III as ‘the ruler upon the throne of him 
who begat him,’ he says: ‘His sister, the Divine Consort, Hat- 
shepsut, administered the affairs of the Two Lands by her designs; 
Egypt was made to labour with bowed head for her, the excellent 
seed of the god, who came forth from him.’ Her partisans had 
now installed.themselves in the most powerful offices. Closest to 
the queen’s person stood one, Sennemut, who deeply ingratiated 
himself in her favour. He had been the tutor of Thutmose III as 
a child, and he was now entrusted with the education of the queen’s 
little daughter Nefrure. His brother Senmen likewise supported 
Hatshepsut’s cause. The most powerful of her coterie however 
was Hapuseneb, who as both vizier and high priest of Amon, 
united in his person all the power of the administrative govern- 
ment with that of the strong priestly party. The aged Ineni was 
succeeded as ‘overseer of the gold and silver treasury’ by a noble 
named Thutiy, while one Nehsi was chief treasurer and colleague 
of Hapuseneb. The whole machinery of the state was thus in the 
hands of these partisans of the queen. It is needless to say that 
the careers and probably the lives of these men were identified 
with the fortunes of Hatshepsut; they therefore took good care 
that her position should be maintained. In every way they were 
at great pains to show that the queen had been destined for the 
throne by the gods from the beginning. In her temple at Der 
el-Bahri, where work was now actively resumed, they had sculp- 
tured on the walls a long series of reliefs depicting the birth of 
the queen. Here all the details of the old state fiction that the 
sovereign should be the bodily son of the Sun-god were elabo- 



rately pictured. The artist who did the work followed the current 
tradition so closely that the new-born child appears as a boy, 
showing how the introduction of a woman into the situation was 
wrenching the inherited forms. With such devices as these and 
many others, it was sought to overcome the prejudice against a 
queen upon the throne of the Pharaohs. 

Confident in her imperial wealth, Hatshepsut’s first enterprise 
was the building of her magnificent temple against the western 
cliffs at Thebes. The building was in design quite unlike the 
great temples of the age. It betrays the influence of the more 
modest terraced temple tomb of the Xlth Dynasty rulers imme- 
diately south of Hatshepsut’s new building. In a series of three 
terraces it rose from the plain to the level of an elevated court, 
flanked by the plastic russet cliffs, into which the holy of holies 
was cut. In front of the terraces were ranged rhythmic piers and 
colonnades, which, when seen from a distance, to this day exhibit 
a fine sense of proportion and of proper grouping, quite disproving 
the common assertion that the Greeks were the first to understand 
the art of distributing external colonnades, and that the Egyptians 
practised the employment of the column only in interiors. The 
queen found especial pleasure in the design of this temple. She 
saw in it a paradise of Amon and conceived its terraces as the 
‘myrrh-terraces’ of Punt, the original home of the gods. She 
refers in one of her inscriptions to the fact that Amon had desired 
her ‘to establish for him a Punt in his house,’ but to carry out 
the design fully it was further necessary to plant the terraces 
with myrrh trees from Punt and to send an expedition thither to 
bring them. 

Foreign traffic had suffered severely during the long rule of 
the Hyksos. Indeed, as far back as any one could remember in 
Hatshepsut’s day, even the myrrh necessary for' the incense in 
the temple service had been passed from hand to hand by overland 
traffic until it reached Egypt. With propitiatory offerings to the 
divinities of the air to ensure a fair wind, the five vessels of the 
expedition to Punt set sail early in the ninth year of the queen’s 
reign. The route was down the Nile and through the Middle 
Kingdom canal leading from the eastern Delta through the Wadi 
Tumllat, and connecting the Nile with the Red Sea, They arrived 
at Punt in safety and the Egyptian commander pitched his tent 
on the shore, where he was received with friendliness by Perehu, 
the chief of Punt, followed by his absurdly corpulent wife and 
three children. Besides plentiful gifts with which to traffic with 
these Puntites, the Egyptians brought with them a statue group 


of stone showing Queen Hatshepsut with her protector Amon 
standing beside her. This group was set up in Punt and must be 
standing there somewhere near the sea at the present day. 

Hatshepsut’s records tell us that her fleet was laden ‘ very heavily 
with marvels of the country of Punt; all goodly fragrant woods 
of God’s-Land, heaps of myrrh-resin, of fresh myrrh-trees 1 , with 
ebony and pure ivory, with green gold of Emu, with cinnamon- 
wood, with incense, eye-cosmetic, with baboons, monkeys, dogs, 
with skins of the southern panther, with natives and their children.’ 
After a safe return voyage the fleet finally moored again at the 
docks of Thebes. Probably the Thebans had never before been 
diverted by such a sight as now greeted them, when the motley 
array of Puntites and the strange products of their far-off country 
passed through the streets to the queen’s palace, where the 
Egyptian commander presented them to her majesty. The queen 
immediately offered a generous portion of them to Amon, 
together with the impost of Nubia, with which Punt was always 
classed. Besides thirty-one living myrrh-trees, she presented to 
the god, electrum, eye-paint, throw-sticks of the Puntites, ebony, 
ivory, shells, a live southern panther, which had been especially 
caught for her majesty, many panther skins and three thousand 
three hundred small cattle. Huge piles of myrrh of twice a man’s 
stature were measured in grain-measures under the oversight of 
the queen’s favourite, Thutiy, and large rings of commercial gold 
were weighed in tall balances ten feet high. After formally 
announcing to Amon the success of the expedition which his 
oracle had called forth, Hatshepsut then summoned the court, 
giving to her favourite Sennemut, and the chief treasurer, Nehsi, 
who had dispatched the expedition, places of honour at her feet, 
while she told the nobles the result of her great venture. She 
proudly added : ‘ I have made for him a Punt in his garden, just 

as he commanded me It is large enough for him to walk abroad 

in it.’ Later she had all the incidents of the remarkable expedition 
recorded in relief on the wall of her Der el-Bahri temple once 
appropriated by Thutmose II for the record of his brief Asiatic 
campaign, where they still form one of the great beauties of her 
temple. All her chief favourites found place among the scenes. 
Sennemut was even allowed to depict himself on one of the walls 
praying to Hathor for the queen, an unparalleled honour. 

This unique temple was in its function the culmination of a 
new development in the arrangement and architecture of the royal 

1 This common Egyptian word should probably be more correctly 
rendered ‘frankincense’ than ‘myrrh.’ 




tomb and its chapel or temple. Perhaps because they had other 
uses for their resources, perhaps because they recognized the 
futility of so vast a tomb, which yet failed to preserve from viola- 
tion the body of the builder, the Pharaohs had gradually aban- 
doned the construction of tomb pyramids. Probably for purposes 
of safety Thutmose I had taken the radical step of separating his 
tomb from the mortuary chapel before it. The latter was still left 
upon the plain at the foot of the western cliffs, but the royal 
sepulchre chamber, with the passage leading to it, was hewn into 
the rocky wall of a wild and desolate valley, now known as 
the ‘Valley of the Kings’ Tombs’ (already mentioned above, 
p. 52), lying behind the western cliffs, some two miles in a direct 
line from the river, and accessible only by a long detour north- 
ward, involving nearly twice that distance. It is evident that the 
exact spot where the king’s body was entombed was intended to 
be kept secret, that all possibility of robbing the royal burial 
might be precluded. Thutmose’s architect, Ineni, says that he 
superintended ‘the excavation of the cliff-tomb of his majesty 
alone, no one seeing and no one hearing.’ Hatshepsut likewise 
chose a remote and secret spot for her tomb high up on the face 
of a dangerous cliff behind the Valley of the Kings’ Tombs, 
where it has only recently been discovered; but this she abandoned 
in favour of a tomb in the valley with her father. The new arrange- 
ment was such that the royal sepulchre was still behind the chapel 
or temple, which thus continued to be on the east of the tomb as 
before, although the two were now separated by the intervening 
cliffs. The valley rapidly filled with the vast tomb excavations of 
Thutmose I’s successors. It continued to be the cemetery of the 
XVIIIth-XXth Dynasties, and over sixty royal tombs of the 
Empire were excavated there. Sixteen now accessible form one 
of the wonders which attract the Nile tourists to Thebes, and 
Strabo speaks of forty which were worthy to be visited in his 
time. Hatshepsut’s terraced sanctuary was therefore her mortuary 
temple, dedicated also to her father. As the tombs multiplied in 
the valley behind, there rose upon the plain before it temple 
after temple endowed for the mortuary service of the departed 
gods, the emperors who had once ruled Egypt. They were 
also sacred to Amon as the state god; but they bore euphemistic 
names significant of their mortuary function. For example, the 
temple of Thutmose III was called ‘Gift of Life.’ Hatshepsut’s 
architect, Hapuseneb, who was also her vizier, likewise excavated 
her tomb in the desolate valley, the second royal sepulchre to be 
excavated there. 


Besides her Der el-Bahri temple and her adjacent tomb, the 
queen employed her evidently growing wealth also in the restora- 
tion of the old temples, which, although two generations had 
elapsed, had not even yet recovered from the neglect which they 
had suffered under the Hyksos. She recorded her good work 
upon a rock temple of Pakht at Beni-Hasan, saying, ‘I have 
restored that which was ruins, I have raised up that which was 
unfinished since the Asiatics were in the midst of Avaris of the 
Northland, and the barbarians in the midst of them, overthrowing 
that which had been made while they ruled in ignorance of Re.’ 
At the same time, in celebration of her royal jubilee she made 
preparation for the erection of the obelisks, which were the cus- 
tomary memorial of such jubilees. Her invariable favourite, 
Sennemut, levied the necessary forced labour and began work 
early in February of the queen’s fifteenth year. By early August, 
exactly six months later, he had freed the huge blocks from 
the quarry, was able to employ the high water, then rapidly 
approaching, to float them, and towed them to Thebes before the 
inundation had again fallen. The queen then chose an extra- 
ordinary location for her obelisks, namely, that colonnaded 
hall of the Karnak temple erected by her father, where her 
husband Thutmose III had been named king by oracle of Amon; 
although this involved serious architectural changes and even 
necessitated permanently unroofing the hall. They were richly 
overlaid with electrum, the work on which was done for the 
queen by Thutiy. She avers that she measured out the precious 
metal by the peck, like sacks of grain, and she is supported in 
this extraordinary statement by Thutiy, who states that by royal 
command he piled up in the festival hall of the palace no less than 
nearly twelve bushels of electrum. These obelisks were the tallest 
shafts ever erected in Egypt up to that time, being ninety-seven- 
and-a-half feet high and weighing nearly three hundred and fifty 
tons each. One of them still stands, an object of daily admiration 
among the modern visitors at Thebes. It is possible that the 
queen also set up two more pairs of obelisks, making six in all. 

A relief in the Wadi Maghara in Sinai, whither the tireless 
queen had sent a mining expedition to resume the work there 
which had been interrupted by the Hyksos invasion, reveals her 
operations among the copper mines, in the same year that saw 
her Karnak obelisks finished. This work in Sinai continued in 
her name until the twentieth year of her reign. Some time between 
this date and the close of the year twenty-one, when we find 
Thutmose III ruling alone, the great queen must have died. 



66 the EXPANSION OF EGYPT [chap. Ill, n 

Great though she was, her rule was a distinct misfortune, falling, 
as it did, at a time when Egypt’s power in Asia had not yet been 
seriously tested, and Syria was only too ready to revolt. Considering 
the age in which he lived, we must not too much blame Thutmose 
III for his treatment of the departed queen. Around her obelisks 
in her father’s hall at Karnak he now had a masonry sheathing 
built covering her name and the record of her erection or them 
on the base. Everywhere he had her name erased and m her 
splendid terraced temple on all the walls both her figure and her 
name have been hacked out. Her partisans must have met short 
shrift. In the relief-scenes in the same temple, where Sennemutand 
Nehsi and Thutiy had been so proud to appear, their names and 
their figures were ruthlessly chiselled away. The statues and 
tombs of all the queen's supporters were treated similarly. And 
these mutilated monuments stand to this day grim witnesses ot 
the great king’s vengeance. But in her splendid temp e her fame 
still lives, and the masonry around her Karnak obelisk has fallen 
down, exposing the gigantic shaft to proclaim to the modern world 
the greatness of Hatshepsut. 




T HE peaceful and unmilitary rule of Hatshepsut, falling as 
it did early in Egypt’s imperial career in Asia, was followed 
by serious consequences. Not having seen an Egyptian army for 
many years, the Syrian dynasts grew continually more restless. 
The king of Kadesh, once probably the suzerain of all Syria and 
Palestine, had stirred all the city-kings of northern Palestine and 
Syria to accept his leadership in a great coalition, in which they 
at last felt themselves strong enough to begin open revolt. 
‘Behold from Yeraza (in northern Judea) to the marshes of the 
earth (i.e. the upper Euphrates), they had begun to revolt against 
his majesty.’ In these words the annals of Thutmose III record the 
Asiatic situation. Only southern Palestine was loth to take up arms 
against the Pharaoh, for its people had witnessed the long siege of 
Sharuhen at the hands of Ahmose in Hyksos days (vol. i, p. 315), 
and they were too well aware of what to expect, to assume thought- 
lessly the offensive against Egypt. Not 'only were ‘all the allied 
countries of Zahi ’ (Syria) in open rebellion against the Pharaoh, 
but it is also evident that the powerful kingdom of Mitanni, on 
the east of the Euphrates, had done all in her power to support 
the rebellion. It was natural that Mitanni should view with 
distrust the presence of a new empire on its western borders; and 
its king exerted himself to the utmost to rehabilitate the once 
great kingdom of Kadesh, as a buffer between himself and Egypt. 

The armies of the early Orient, at least those of Egypt, were 
not large, and it is not probable that any Pharaoh ever invaded 
Asia with more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men, while 
less than twenty thousand is probably nearer the usual figure. 
Late in his twenty-second year we find Thutmose with his army 
ready to take the field. He marched from Tharu, the predecessor 
of modern Kantara, the last Egyptian city on the north-eastern 
Delta frontier, about the 19th of April, 1479 b.c . 1 Nine days 

1 Sethe has concluded that the new moon dates in Thutmose Ill’s 
Annals, from which this date (1479 B.c.) is computed, should be considered 
as real new moon dates, and not dates when the new moon became visible. 
This would make this date 1482 b.c., as formerly calculated by Mahler in 
P.S.B.d., 1895, p. 281. See Sethe, Gesell. der Wiss. Gottingen, Phil.-hist. 
Klasse, 1919, p. 289. 



later (April 28 th) he reached Gaza, one hundred, and sixty miles 
from Tharu. Although it was the anniversary of his coronation, 
he was not the man to waste the day in a futile celebration, but 
having arrived in the evening of the coronation anniversary, he 
was awav for the north again the very next morning. In the 
evening of May 10th he camped at Yehem, a town ol uncertain 
location, some eighty or ninety miles from Gaza, on the southern 

slopes of the Carmel range. _ . . . . 

Meantime the army of the Asiatic allies, under the command 
of the king of Kadesh, had pushed southward as tar as the territory 
of their adherents extended, and had occupied the strong fortress 
of Megiddo, on the north slope of the Carmel ridge.. 1 his 
transverse ridge formed the first effective barrier confronting an 
army invading Asia from Egypt, and the king ot kadesh showed 
good strategic judgment in selecting it for his first stand agains 
the advancing Egyptians. Megiddo, which here appears m history 
for the first time, was not only a powerful stronghold, but occupied 
an important strategic position, commanding the road from 
Eo-ypt between the two Lebanons to the Euphrates, hence its 
prominent role in oriental history from this time on. 

As Thutmose neared Carmel he learned of the enemy s occu- 
pation of Megiddo, and called a council of his officers to ascertain 
the most favourable route for crossing the ridge and reaching the 
plain of Esdraelon beyond. There were three roads practicable 
for an army leading over the mountain; one which made a direct 
line for the gates of Megiddo, and two involving a detour toward 
either side': the first southward by way of Taanach, about five 
miles south-east of Megiddo; and the other, northward, emerging 
on the north-west of Megiddo. Thutmose characteristically 
favoured the direct route, but his officers urged that the other 
roads were more open, while the middle one was a narrow pass. 
‘Will not horse come behind horse,’ they asked, and man 
behind man likewise? Shall our advance-guard be fighting while 
our rear-guard is yet standing, in Aruna (far in the rear) . i hese 
objections showed a good military understanding of the dangers 
of the pass; but Thutmose swore a round oath that he would 
move against his enemies by the most direct route, and his officers 
might follow or not as they pleased. Accordingly, on the. 1 3th ot 
May he personally took the head of the column, vowing that 
none should precede him, but that he would, go ‘forth at the head 
of his army himself, showing the way by his own footsteps. At 
this juncture his army must have been distributed foi a great 
distance along the road from Aruna back to Yehem; but on the 


morning of the 14th he pushed quickly forward again into the 
historic pass. 

It was just past midday when his forward column emerged 
from the pass and overlooked the plain of Megiddo, the 

1 From H. H. Nelson, The Battle of Megiddo , Map iv. The Egyptian 
lines were between the foot-hills A, B, C, D, E and the mounds G, H, I ; 
the Hittite chariots were probably between G and H, the latter of which 
slopes steeply to the brook Kina. Sethe’s new collation of Thutmose Ill’s 
Annals ( Urkunden , , iv. 652 sq.) indicates that the pass was unoccupied by the 
enemy, and there was no fighting for its possession as formerly supposed. 
We lose this bit of evidence with regret, for it furnished a very interesting 
and exact parallel with Lord Allenby’s experience in 1918. 


first army we are able to follow as it enters that historic plain, 
which, as Armageddon , has become the proverbial battle-field of 
the ages from Thutmose III to Lord Allenby. Indeed the pass 
through which Thutmose went was the same as that through 
which Allenby flung his cavalry to positions in the rear of the 
fleeing Turks in 19x8. By one o’clock Thutmose halted without 
opposition on the south of Megiddo, * on the bank of the brook 
Kina.’ The Asiatics had thus lost an inestimable opportunity to 
destroy him in detail. They seem to have been posted too far 
south-eastward toward Taanach to draw in quickly and con- 
centrate against his thin line of march as it defiled from the 
mountains. It is impossible to determine the exact position of the 
Asiatics, but when the skirmishing in the mountains took place 
their southern wing was at Taanach, doubtless in expectation 
that Thutmose would cross the mountain by the Taanach road. 
Late in the afternoon of the same day (the 14th), or during the 
ensuing night, Thutmose took advantage of his enemy’s position 
on the east and south-east of his own force to draw his line 
around the west side of Megiddo and boldly threw out his left 
wing on the north-west of the city. He thus secured, in case of 
necessity, a safe and easy line of retreat westward along the Zefti 
road, while at the same time his extreme left might cut off the 
enemy from flight northward. 

To protect their stronghold the Asiatics drew in between the 
Egyptian forces and the city. Early the next morning (May 1 5th) 
Thutmose led forth his army in order of battle. In a shining 
chariot of electrum he took up his position with the centre; his 
right or southern wing rested on a hill south of the brook of 
Kina; while, as we have seen, his left was north-west of Megiddo. 
He immediately attacked, leading the onset himself * at the head 
of his army,’ The enemy gave way at the first charge. Thutmose’s 
Annals show evident gratification at the humiliating flight of the 
Asiatics: ‘they fled headlong to Megiddo in fear, abandoning 
their horses and their chariots of gold and silver, and the people 
hauled them up, pulling them by their clothing into this city; 
the people of this city having closed it against them and lowered 
clothing to pull them up into this city. Now if only the army of 
his majesty had not given their heart to plundering the things 
of the enemy they would have captured Megiddo at this moment, 
when the wretched vanquished king of Kadesh and the wretched 
vanquished king of this city (Megiddo) were hauled up in haste 
to bring them into this city.’ The discipline of the Egyptian host 
could not resist the spoil of the combined armies of Syria. ‘ Then 


were captured their horses, their chariots of gold and silver were 
made spoil — Their champions lay stretched out like fishes on 
the ground. The victorious army of his majesty went round 
counting the spoils, their portions. Behold there was captured 
the tent of that wretched vanquished foe (the king of Kadesh) in 
which was his son — The whole army made jubilee, giving 
praise to Amon for the victory which he had granted to his son 
(the Pharaoh) — They brought in the booty which they had 
taken, consisting of hands (severed from the slain), living prisoners, 
of horses, chariots, gold and silver.’ It is thus evident that in the 
disorganized rout the camp of the king of Kadesh fell into the 
hands of the Egyptians. 

Hereupon Thutmose gave orders for the investment of the 
city: ‘they measured this city, surrounding it with an enclosure, 
walled about with green timber of all their pleasant trees. His 
majesty himself was upon the fortification east of the city, in- 
specting what was done.’ Thutmose boasts after his return to 
Egypt, saying, ‘Amon gave to me all the allied countries of Zahi 

shut up in one city I snared them in one city, I built around 

them with a rampart of thick wall.’ They called this wall of 
investment: ‘Thutmose is the Ensnarer of the Asiatics,’ according 
to the custom # under the Empire of naming every royal building 
after the king. As the siege went on, the dynasts who were for- 
tunate enough not to be shut up in the city hastened to make 
their peace with the incensed Pharaoh: ‘The Asiatics of all 
countries came with bowed head, doing obeisance to the fame 
of his majesty.’ 

The king of Kadesh was not among the prisoners; he had 
escaped before the completion of the investment. To compensate 
for the failure to capture this dangerous enemy, the Egyptians 
secured his family as hostages; for Thutmose says, ‘Lo, my 
majesty carried off the wives of that vanquished one, together 
with his children, and the wives of the chiefs who were there, 
together with their children.’ The catalogue of the spoils found 
in the fallen city, as given in Thutmose’s Annals, is a surprising 
revelation of the wealth and splendour of contemporary Syria. 
Nine hundred and twenty-four chariots, including those of the 
kings of Kadesh and Megiddo, two thousand two hundred and 
thirty-eight horses, two hundred suits of armour, again including 
those of the same two kings, the gorgeous tent of the king of 
Kadesh, the magnificent household furniture of the same king, 
and among it his royal sceptre, a silver statue, perhaps of his god, 
and an ebony statue of himself, wrought with gold and lapis 


lazuli, besides immense quantities of gold and silver were taken 

In order to prevent another southward advance of the still 
unconquered king of Kadesh and to hold command of the im- 
portant road northward between the Lebanons, Thutmose pushed 
northward and built a fortress at this point, which he called 

‘Thutmose-is-the-Binder-of-the-Barbarians.’ He now began the 
reorganization of the conquered territory, supplanting the old 
revolting dynasts with others who might be expected to show 
loyalty to Egypt. These new rulers were allowed to govern much 
as" they pleased, if only they regularly and promptly sent m _ the 
yearly tribute to Egypt. To hold them to their obligations 
Thutmose carried off with him to Egypt their eldest sons, whom he 
placed in a special quarter or building called ‘Castle in Thebes 
Here they were educated and so treated as to engender feelings of 
friendliness toward Egypt. Later, whenever a king of one of the 
Syrian cities died ‘ his "majesty would cause his son to stand in 
his place.’ Thutmose now controlled all Palestine as far north as 
the southern end of Lebanon, and farther inland also Damascus. 
In so far as they had rebelled, he stripped all the towns of then 
wealth, and returned to Egypt with some four hundred and 
twenty-six pounds of gold and silver in commercial rings or 
wrought into magnificent vessels and other objects of art, besides 
untold quantities of less valuable property and the spoil of 

Megiddo already mentioned. . _ . , 

In less than six months, that is, within the limits of the dry 
season in Palestine, he had marched from Tharu, gained a 
sweeping victory at Megiddo, captured the city after a long and 
arduous investment, marched to the Lebanon and taken three 
cities there, built and garrisoned a permanent fort near them, 
begun reorganizing the government in northern Palestine, and 
completed the return journey to Thebes, which he reached early 
in October. With what difficulties such an achievement was beset 
we may learn not only from Napoleon’s campaign from Egypt 
over the same route against Acre, which is almost exactly as far 
from Egypt as Megiddo, but also by following Lord Allenby’s 
brilliant campaign against the Turks through the same country. 
We may then understand why it was that Thutmose immediately 
celebrated three ‘Feasts of Victory’ in his capital. These feasts 
were made permanent, and endowed with an annual income of 
plentiful offerings. At the feast of Opet, which was Anion’s 
greatest annual feast and lasted eleven days, he presented to the 
god the three towns which he had captured in Lebanon, besides 


a rich array of magnificent vessels of gold, silver and costly stones 
from the prodigious spoils of Retenu 1 . In order to furnish income 
to maintain the temple on the sumptuous plan thus projected, he 
gave Amon not only the said three towns, but also extensive lands 
in Upper and Lower Egypt, and supplied them with plentiful 
herds and with hosts of serfs taken from among his Asiatic 
prisoners. Thus was established the foundation of that vast 
fortune of Amon, which now began to grow out of all proportion 
to the increased wealth of other temples. Nevertheless, if we may 
judge from the small temple of Ptah by the great Karnak sanctuary 
which Thutmose also rebuilt at his return from his campaign, he 
probably showed like generosity to the two more ancient sanc- 
tuaries at Heliopolis and Memphis, of which the former was still 
in a traditional sense the temple of the State-god, in that Amon 
had long been identified with the Sun-god of Heliopolis. 

Egyptian power in Asia during the long military inactivity of 
Hatshepsut’s reign had been so thoroughly shaken that Thutmose 
III was far from ready, as a result of the first campaign, to march 
immediately upon Kadesh, his most dangerous enemy. Moreover, 
he desired properly to organize and render perfectly secure the 
states already under the power of Egypt. In the twenty-fourth 
year, therefor^, on his second campaign, he marched in a wide 
curve through the conquered territory of northern Palestine and 
southern Syria, while the dynasts came to pay their tribute and 
do him homage in ‘every place of his majesty’s circuit where the 
tent was pitched.’ The news of his great victory of the year before 
had by this time reached Assyria, till then a small power far over 
on the upper Tigris. Her king naturally desired to be on good 
terms with the great empire of the west, and the gifts of costly 
stone, chiefly lapis lazuli from Babylon, and the horses which he 
sent to Thutmose, so that they reached him while on this cam- 
paign, were, as usual, interpreted by the Egyptians as tribute. In 
all probability no battles were fought on this expedition. 

Thutmose’s return to Thebes, which again fell in October, 
gave him opportunity to plan for the enlargement of the Karnak 
temple, to suit the needs of the empire of which he dreamed. As 
the west end, the real front of the temple, was marred by Hat- 
shepsut’s obelisks, rising from his father’s dismantled hall, and 
he was unable or unwilling to build around his father’s obelisks, 
which stood before the western entrance of the temple, Thutmose 
III laid out his imposing colonnaded halls at the other, or east 

1 An Egyptian designation of the general region of Syria-Palestine, 
having geographical rather than political significance. 


end, of the temple, where they to-day form one of the great 
architectural beauties of Thebes. The greatest hall is nearly one 
hundred and forty feet long, and lies transversely across the axis 
of the temple. Behind it is the sanctuary, or holy of holies, while 
grouped about it are some half a hundred halls and chambers. 
Among these, on the south side, was a hall for the mortuary 
service of his ancestors. In the chamber to which this hall led he 
‘commanded to record the names of his fathers, to increase their 
offerings and to fashion statues of all these their bodies.’ These 
names formed an extensive list which was removed and is now in 
the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris. Though many of the statues 
of his fathers have perished, some have been discovered in a court 
south of the temple, where they had been concealed for safety 
presumably in time of war. 

When Thutmose returned from his third campaign, chiefly an 
organizing expedition, his building at Karnak -was sufficiently far 
advanced to record upon the walls of one of the chambers the 
plants and animals of Asia which he had found on his march and 
brought home with him to beautify the garden of the temple of 
Amon, the sacred lake of which he supplied with a masonry 
coping. No records of the fourth campaign have survived, but the 
course of his subsequent operations were such that it must have 
been confined like the others to the territory already regained, 
that is the southern half of the future Asiatic empire. 

It had now become evident to Thutmose that he could not 
march northward between the Lebanons and operate against 
Kadesh, while leaving his left flank exposed to the unsubdued 
Phoenician cities of the coast. It was likewise impossible to strike 
Naharin and Mitanni without first destroying Kadesh, which 
dominated the Orontes valley. He therefore organized a fleet 
which would enable him to land an army on the north Syrian or 
Phoenician coast. He conceived that he would then be able to 
use the coast as a base of operations against Kadesh and the 
interior; and this being once disposed of, he could again push in 
from the coast against Mitanni and the whole Naharin region. 
No modern strategist could have conceived a series of operations 
better suited to the conditions 1 , nor have gone about putting them 
into execution with more indomitable energy than Thutmose now 
displayed. In the year twenty-nine, on his fifth campaign, he moved 
for the first time against the northern coast cities, the wealthy 

1 Indeed, could the same strategy have been followed in the Great War 
it may he confidently assumed that the Allied campaign against the Turks 
would have been completed in the first year of the war. 


commercial kingdoms of Phoenicia. The name of the first city 
which Thutmose took is unfortunately lost, but it was on the 
coast opposite Tunip, and must have been a place of considerable 
importance, for it brought him rich spoils; and there was in the 
town a temple of Amon, erected by one of Thutmose Ill’s pre- 
decessors (either Thutmose I or possibly Amenhotep I). Tunip 
sent forces from the interior to strengthen the garrison of this 
unknown city, the fall of which would involve the ultimate 
capture of Tunip also. Thutmose now seized the fleet of the city, 
and was able rapidly to move his army southward against the 
powerful city of Arvad. A short siege, compelling the Pharaoh 
to cut down the groves about the town, as at Megiddo, sufficed 
to bring the place to terms, and with its surrender a vast quantity 
of the wealth of Phoenicia fell into the hands of the Egyptians. 
Besides this, it being now autumn, the gardens and groves ‘were 
filled with their fruit, their wines were found left in their presses 
as water flows, their grain on the (hillside) terraces...; it was 
more plentiful than the sand of the shore. The army were over- 
whelmed with their portions.’ Under these circumstances it was 
useless for Thutmose to attempt to maintain discipline, and 
during the first days following the surrender, ‘behold the army 
of his majesty was drunk and anointed with oil every day as at a 
feast in Egypt.’ The dynasts along the coast now came in with 
their tribute and offered submission. Thutmose had thus gained 
a secure footing on the northern coast, easily accessible by water 
from Egypt, and forming an admirable base for operations inland 
as he had foreseen. He then returned to Egypt, possibly not for 
the first time, by water. 

It had taken five expeditions to gain the south and the coast; 
the sixth campaign was at last directed against Kadesh, his long 
invulnerable enemy. In the year thirty the close of the spring 
rains found Thutmose disembarking his army from the fleet at 
Simyra, by the mouth of the Eleutherus, up the valley of which 
he immediately marched upon Kadesh. The city lay on the west 
side of the Orontes river at the north end of the high valley 
between the two Lebanons. A small tributary of the Orontes 
joined the larger stream from the west just below the city, so 
that it lay on a point of land between the two. A canal was cut 
across the tongue of land above the town, thus connecting the 
two streams and entirely surrounding the place by water. Within 
the banks of the rivers an inner moat encircling the high curtain- 
walls re-enforced the natural water-defences, so that, in spite of 
its location in a perfectly level plain, it was a place of great 


strength, and probably the most formidable fortress in Syria. In 
its relation to the surrounding country also the place was skilfully 
chosen; for, besides commanding the Orontes valley, it also 
dominated the only road inland from the coast for a long distance 
both north and south. This was the road up the Eleutherus valley, 
along which we have followed Thutmose. The capture of such a 
place by siege was an achievement of no slight difficulty, and 
indeed the siege continued long enough to encourage the coast 
cities in the hope that Thutmose had suffered a reverse. In spite 
of the chastisement inflicted upon Arvad the year before, the 
opulent harbour town could not resist an attempt to rid tself of 
the annual obligation to the Pharaoh. As soon as Kadesh fell, 
however, Thutmose quickly returned to Simyra, embarked his 
army on his waiting fleet and sailed to Arvad to inflict swift 

This revolt showed Thutmose that he must devote another 
campaign to the thorough subjugation of the coast before he 
could safely push inland beyond the valley of the Orontes on the 
long planned advance into Naharin. He therefore spent the 
summer of the year thirty-one, the seventh campaign , in completely 
quenching any smouldering embers of revolt in the coast cities. 
He skirted the coast with his fleet, entering harbour after harbour, 
displaying his force and thoroughly organizing the administration 
of the cities. In particular he saw to it that every harbour-town 
should be liberally supplied with provisions for his coming cam- 
paign in Naharin. On his return to Egypt he found envoys from 
the extreme south, probably eastern Nubia, bringing to the 
Pharaoh their tribute, which shows that he was maintaining an 
aggressive policy in the far south while at the same time so active 
in the north. 

It was not until the spring of the year thirty-three that Thut- 
mose was able to land his forces in the harbour of Simyra, on his 
eighth campaign. For the second time he marched inland along the 
Kadesh road, this time with the Euphrates country as his objective. 
Continuing the march northward down the Orontes, he fought a 
battle at the city of Senzar, where he probably crossed and forsook 
the Orontes. He now entered Naharin and, marching rapidly on, 
found no serious force confronting him until he had arrived 
at the ‘Height of Wan, on the west of Aleppo,’ where a con- 
siderable battle was fought. Aleppo itself must have fallen, for 
the Pharaoh could otherwise hardly have pushed on without 
delay, as he evidently did. ‘Behold his majesty went north, 
capturing the towns and laying waste the settlements of that foe 


of wretched Naharin,’ who was, of course, the king of Mitanni. 
Egyptian troops were again plundering the Euphrates valley, a 
license which they had not enjoyed since the days of their fathers 
under Thutmose I, some fifty years before. A victorious battle at 
Carchemish at last enabled Thutmose to do what he had been 
fighting ten years to attain, for he now crossed the Euphrates 
into Mitanni and set up his boundary tablet on the east side. 
Without wintering in Naharin however, it was impossible for 
Thutmose to advance farther, and he was too wise a soldier to 
risk exposing to the inclement northern winter the seasoned 
veterans of so many campaigns. He therefore returned unmolested 
to the west shore, where it would seem he found the tablet of his 
father, Thutmose I, and with the greatest satisfaction he set up 
another of his own alongside it. His troops had already harvested 
the fields of the Euphrates valley, and it was now late in the 
season. Before he returned, however, one serious enterprise still 
awaited him. The city of Niy, somewhere in the region between 
Aleppo and the Euphrates, was still unconquered and all his 
work in Naharin might be undone were this place left unscathed. 
In so far as we know, the capture of Niy was an enterprise quickly 
achieved. Thutmose was then at liberty to relax and we learn that 
he organized a great elephant hunt in the region of Niy, where 
these animals have now been extinct for ages. He and his party 
attacked the north Syrian herd of one hundred and twenty 
animals. In the course of the hunt the king, having come to close 
quarters with one great beast, was in some danger when his 
general, Amenemhab, rushed between and cut off the animal’s 
trunk, thus diverting the infuriated animal at the critical moment. 

All western Asia was now apprehensively watching the ex- 
pansion of the Pharaoh’s power. The local princes and dynasts of 
Naharin appeared at his camp and brought in their tribute as a 
token of their submission. Even far off Babylon was now anxious 
to secure the goodwill of the Pharaoh, and its king sent him gifts 
wrought of lapis lazuli. But what was still more important, the 
mighty people of the Kheta, whose domain stretched far away 
into the unknown regions of Asia Minor, sent him a rich gift. 
As he was on the march from Naharin to reach the coast again 
the envoys from the king of ‘Great Kheta’ met him. They bore 
eight massive commercial rings of silver, weighing nearly ninety- 
eight pounds, besides some unknown precious stone and costly 
wood. In ‘Great Kheta’ we must recognize the ‘Hittite’ empire, 
thus emerging for the first time, as far as we know, upon the 
stage of oriental history (see chap. xi). On Thutmose’s arrival at 


the coast, he laid upon the chiefs of the Lebanon the yearly 
obligation to keep the Phoenician harbours supplied with the 
necessary provision for his campaigns. From any point in this 
line of harbours, which he could reach by ship from Egypt in a 
few days, he was then able to strike inland without delay and bring 
delinquents to an immediate accounting. His sea-power, the first 
that we can discern in history, was such that the king of Alashiya 
(? Cyprus) became practically a vassal of Egypt, as later in Sa'itic 
times. Moreover, the Pharaoh’s fleet made him so feared in the 
islands of the north that he was able to exert a loose control over 
the eastern Mediterranean, as far as the islands of the Aegean. 
Thus, his general, Thutiy, includes ‘the isles in the midst of the 
sea,’ that is, the Aegean Islands, as within his jurisdiction as 
‘governor of the north countries.’ Egypt’s maritime supremacy 
in the fifteenth century b.c. was thus an obvious anticipation of 
the sea-power of the Ptolemies in the Greek Age. 


This expansion of Egyptian power in the north and north-west 
was balanced by similar aggressiveness in the south and south- 
west. From Punt Thutmose’s expeditions, seemingly of more 
than merely mercantile power, brought back the usual rich and 
varied cargoes of ivory, ebony, panther-skins, gold, and over two 
hundred and twenty-three bushels of myrrh, besides male and 
female slaves and many cattle. At some time during these wars 
Thutmose also gained possession of the entire oasis-region on the 
west of Egypt. The oases thus became Pharaonic territory and 
were placed under the government of Intef, Thutmose’s herald, 
who was a descendant of the old line of lords of Thinis-Abydos, 
whence the Great Oasis was most easily reached. The oasis-region 
remained an appanage of the lords of Thinis and became famous 
for its fine wines. 

The kings of western Asia, whom Thutmose’s fathers had been 
able to defeat singly and in succession, he had been obliged to 
meet united; and against the combined military resources of 
Syria and northern Palestine under their old-time Hyksos suzerain 
of Kadesh, he had forced his way through to the north. He might 
pardonably permit himself some satisfaction in the contemplation 
of what he had accomplished in ten years of campaigning in Asia. 
Nearly thirty-three years had elapsed since the day when Amon 
called him to the throne. Already on his thirtieth anniversary his 
architect, Puemre, had erected the jubilee obelisks at Thebes; 


IV, ix] 


but on his return from the great campaign the date for the 
customary second jubilee-celebration was approaching. A pair of 
enormous obelisks, which had been in preparation for the event, 
were erected at the Karnak temple and one of them bore the proud 
words, ‘Thutmose, who crossed the great “Bend of Naharin” 
[the Euphrates] with might and with victory at the head of his 
army.’ The other obelisk of this pair has perished, but this one 
now stands in Constantinople. Indeed, of the great king’s 
obelisks in Egypt, all have either perished or been removed, so 
that not a single one still stands in the land he ruled so mightily, 
while the modern world possesses a line of them reaching from 
Constantinople, through Rome and London to New York. The 
last two, which commemorate his fourth jubilee-celebration, 
now rise on opposite shores of the Atlantic, on the Thames 
Embankment and in Central Park, as they once stood on either 
side of the approach to the Sun-temple at Heliopolis. 

These stately shafts were not the only memorials of Thut- 
mose’s achievements. On the walls of the magnificent Karnak 
temple were recorded long annals of his victories in Asia, ex- 
tensive lists of the plunder he had taken, with splendid reliefs 
picturing the rich portion which fell to Amon. A list of one 
hundred and nineteen towns which he captured on his first 
campaigns was three times displayed upon the pylons, while 
from his recent successes in the north the same walls bore a record 
of no less than two hundred and forty-eight towns which had 
submitted to him. Unfortunately these records are but excerpts 
from the state-records, made by priests who wished to explain the 
source of the gifts received by the temple, and to show how 
Thutmose was repaying his debt to Amon for the many victories 
which the favouring god had vouchsafed him. Hence they are 
but meagre sources from which to reconstruct the campaigns of 
the first great strategist of whom we know anything in history. 

But the Thebans were not restricted to the monuments of 
Karnak for evidence of the greatness of their king. In the gardens 
of Amon’s temple, as we have seen, grew the strange plants of 
Syria, while Asiatic animals unknown to the hunter of the Nile 
valley wandered among trees equally unfamiliar. Envoys from 
the north and south were constantly appearing at the court. 
Levantine galleys, such as the upper Nile had never seen before, 
delighted the eyes of the curious crowd at the docks of Thebes; 
and from these landed sumptuous cargoes of the finest stuffs of 
Phoenicia, gold and silver vessels of magnificent workmanship 
from the cunning hand of the Tyrian artificer or the workshops 


of distant Asia Minor, Cyprus, Crete and the Aegean Islands; 
exquisite furniture of carved ivory, delicately wrought ebony, 
chariots mounted with gold and electrum, and bronze implements 
of war; besides these, fine horses for the Pharaoh’s stables and 
untold quantities of the best that the fields, gardens, vineyards, 
orchards and pastures of Asia produced. Under heavy guard 
emerged from these ships, too, the annual tribute of gold and 
silver in large commercial rings, some of which weighed as much 
as twelve pounds each, while others for purposes of daily trade 
were of but a few grains weight. Winding through the streets 
crowded with the wondering Theban multitude, the strange- 
tongued Asiatics in long procession bore their tribute to the 
Pharaoh’s treasury. They were received by the vizier, Rekhmire, 
and when unusually rich tribute was presented, he conducted 
them to Thutmose’s presence, where, enthroned in splendour, 
the Pharaoh reviewed them and praised the vizier and his officials 
for their zeal in his behalf. It was such scenes as this that the 
vizier and the treasury officials lo% r ed to perpetuate in gorgeous 
paintings on the walls of their tombs, where they are still pre- 
served at Thebes. The amount of wealth which thus came into 
Egypt from Asia and Nubia must have been enormous for those 
times, and on one occasion the treasury was able to weigh out 
some eight thousand nine hundred and forty-three pounds of 
gold-silver alloy. 

Similar sights diverted the multitudes of the once provincial 
Thebes when every year, toward the close of September or the 
opening days of October, Thutmose’s war-galleys moored in the 
harbour of the town. But at this time not merely the wealth of 
Asia was unloaded from the ships, the Asiatics themselves, bound 
one to another in long lines, were led down the gang-planks to 
begin a life of slave-labour for the Pharaoh. They wore long 
matted beards, an abomination to the Egyptians; their hair hung 
in heavy black masses upon their shoulders, and they were dad 
in gaily-coloured woollen stuffs, such as the Egyptian, spotless 
in his white linen robe, would never put on his body. Their arms 
were pinioned behind them at the elbows or crossed over their 
heads and lashed together, or, again, were thrust through odd 
pointed ovals of wood, which served as hand-cuffs. The women 
carried their children slung in a fold of the mantle over their 
shoulders. With their strange speech and uncouth postures the 
poor wretches were the subject of jibe and merriment on the part 
of the multitude, while the artists of the time could never forbear 
caricaturing them. Many of them found their way into the houses 



Abyssinia, D 7 

Leucos Limen, C 4 

Aden, G. of, EF 7 

Libyan Desert, AB 4, 5 

Adulis, D 6 

Aethiopia, BCD 6 

Libyans, A 3 

Alexandria, B 3 

Maghara, Wadi, D 4 

Aloa, C 6, 7; D 7 

'Marshes, The/ EF 2 

i\mmonium or Oasis Siwa, B 4 

Maxyes (Meshwesh) , A 3 

Arabia, D 3-F 6 

Memphis, C 4 

Assuan (Aswan), C 5 

Meroe, C 6 

Atbara, R., D 6 

Axumis, D 7 

Meshwesh (Maxyes) , A 3 

Napata, C 6 

Babylon, E 3 

Nile Cataracts, C 4, 5, 6 

Babylonia, EF 3 

Nile, White and Blue, C 7 

Bagdad, E 3 

Beirut, D 3 

Nineveh, E 2 

Berenice, D 4 

Oasis Magna, C 4 

Black Sea, CD 1 

Oasis Parva, B 4 

Boghaz-koi (Keui), C 1 

Oasis Siut, C 4 

Byblus, D 3 

Oasis Siwa, B 4 

Caspian Sea, G 1, 2 

Paraetonium, B 3, 4 

Cataracts on the Nile, C 4, 5, 6 
Crete, AB 2 

Punt, E 7, 8 

Cyprus, C 2, 3 

Red Sea, CDE 4, 5, 6 

Cyrene, A 3 

Rhinocolura, C3 

Damascus, D 3 

Sarbut el-Khadem, C 4 

Darfur, AB 7 

Sennar, C 7 

Sidon, D 3 

Euphrates, JR., EF 3 

Sinai, C 4 

Soleb, C 5 

Gem Aton, C 5 

Heliopolis, C 3 

Somali Coast, F 7 

Syria or Zahi, D 2, 3 

Hittites, CD 2 

Tehenu, BC 3 

Temeh, AB 3 

Jerusalem, D 3 

Thebes, C 4 

Tigris, R., F 3 

Kef tin, B 2 

IChartum, C 6 

Tyre, D 3 

Khatti, C 1 

Kisil Irmak, R., CD 1 

Kush, C 5, 6 

Zahi or Syria, D 2, 3 


of the Pharaoh’s favourites, and his generals were liberally re- 
warded with gifts of such slaves; but the larger number were 
employed on the temple estates, the Pharaoh’s domains, or in the 
construction of his great monuments and buildings, especially the 
last, a custom which continued until Saladin built the cathedral 
at Cairo with the labour of the Christian knights whom he 
captured from the ranks of the Crusaders. We shall see later how 
this captive labour transformed Thebes. 

With the next campaign but six months distant, the return of 
the king every autumn, under such circumstances, began for him 
a winter in Egypt, if not so arduous, at least as busily occupied 
as the campaigning season in Asia. Shortly after his return in 
October, Thutmose made a tour of inspection throughout Egypt, 
closely questioning the local authorities wherever he landed, for 
the purpose of suppressing corruption in the local administration 
during the collection of taxes. On these journeys, too, he had 
opportunity of observing the progress of the noble temple 
buildings which he was either erecting, restoring or adorning at 
over thirty different places of which we know, and many more 
which have perished. He revived the Delta, neglected since 
Hyksos times, and from there to the third cataract his buildings 
were rising, strqng like gems along the river. Returning to Thebes 
his interests were wide and his power was felt in every avenue 
of administration. The increasing wealth of the Amon temple 
demanded reorganization of its management, which the king 
accomplished personally, giving the priests careful regulations 
for the conduct of the state temple and its growing fortune. As 
the fruit of a moment’s respite from the cares of state, he even 
handed to his chief of artificers in the royal workshops designs 
sketched by his own royal hand for vessels which he desired for 
the temple service. Thutmose himself thought sufficiently well 
of this accomplishment to have it noted over a relief depicting 
these vessels on the temple walls at Karnak; while in the opinion 
of the official who received the commission it was a fact so 
remarkable that he had the execution of these vessels by his 
artificers shown in the paintings on the walls of his tomb-chapel. 
Both these evidences of Thutmose’s restless versatility still 
survive at Thebes. The great state-temple received another pylon 
on the south, and the whole mass of Karnak buildings, with the 
adjoining grove and garden, was given unity by an enclosure 
wall, with which Thutmose surrounded them. 

The spring of the thirty-fourth year found Thutmose again in 
Zahi on his ninth campaign ; for the advancement of Egypt’s 


C.A. H. II 


Asiatic frontier to the Euphrates was, in the light of past experi- 
ence, not an achievement from which he might expect lasting 
results. Some disaffection, probably in the Lebanon region, 
obliged him to take three towns in which considerable spoil was 
captured. This year evidently saw the extension of his power in 
the south also; for he secured the son of the chief of Irem, the 
neighbour of Punt, as a hostage. But, on the other hand, it was 
now nearly two years since he had seen Naharin and in so short 
a time its princes had ceased to fear his power. They formed a 
powerful and far-reaching coalition, with a prince at its head, 
whom Thutmose’s Annals call ‘that wretched foe of Naharin,’ 
probably meaning the king of Mitanni. Thutmose’s continual 
state of preparation enabled him to appear promptly on the plains 
of Naharin in the spring of the year thirty-five on his tenth 
campaign . He engaged the allies in battle at a place called Araina, 
which we are unable to locate with certainty, but it was probably 
somewhere in the Lower Orontes valley. ‘Then his majesty pre- 
vailed against these barbarians... they fled headlong, falling one 
over another before his majesty.’ The alliance of the Naharin 
dynasts was completely shattered and its resources for future 
resistance destroyed or carried off by the victorious Egyptians. 
Far as were these Syrian princes from Egypt, they had learned 
the length and the might of the Pharaoh’s arm, and it was seven 
years before they again revolted. 

We know nothing of the objective of Thutmose’s eleventh and 
twelfth campaigns; but the year thirty-eight found him again in 
the southern Lebanon region on his thirteenth campaign , while the 
turbulent Bedouins of southern Palestine forced him to march 
through their country the very next year. He then spent the rest 
of this fourteenth campaign in Syria, where it became merely a tour 
of inspection; but in both years he kept the harbours supplied 
as before, ready for every emergency. The tribute seems to have 
come in regularly for the next two years (forty and forty-one), 
and again the king of ‘Kheta the great’ sent gifts, which Thut- 
mose as before records among the ‘tribute.’ 

Egyptian supremacy in Asia, however, was not to be accepted 
by the princes of Syria without one more despairing effort to 
achieve independence. Incited by Kadesh, Thutmose’s inveterate 
enemy, they again rose in a final united effort to shake off the 
Pharaoh’s strong hand. All Naharin, especially the king of Tunip,. 
and also some of the northern coast cities, had been induced to 
join the alliance. The great king was now an old man, probably 
over seventy years of age, but with his accustomed promptitude 


he appeared with his fleet off the coast of northern Syria in the 
spring of the year forty-two. It was his last campaign 1 . Like his 
first it was directed against his arch-enemy, Kadesh. Instead of 
approaching the place from the south, as before, Thutmose 
determined to isolate her from her northern support and to 
capture Tunip first. He therefore landed at some point between 
the mouth of the Orontes and the Eleutherus, whence he 
marched against Tunip. He was detained at Tunip until the 
harvest season, but he captured the place after a short resistance. 
He then accomplished the march up the Orontes to Kadesh 
without mishap and wasted the towns of the region. The king of 
Kadesh engaged the Egyptians in battle before the city, and in 
the effort to make headway against Thutmose’s seasoned troops the 
Syrian king resorted to a stratagem. He sent forth a mare against 
the Egyptian chariotry, hoping thus to excite the stallions and 
produce confusion, or even a break in the Egyptian battle-line, 
of which he might take advantage. But Thutmose’s veteran 
general, Amenemhab, leaped from his chariot, sword in hand, 
pursued the mare on foot, ripped her up and cut off her tail, 
which he carried in triumph to the king. After a short investment, 
the powerful city was taken by assault. The Naharin auxiliaries 
who were aiding in the defence fell into Thutmose’s hands, and 
it was not even necessary for him to march into the north. With 
the fall of Kadesh disappeared the last vestige of the Hyksos 
power which had once subdued Egypt, a catastrophe of such 
impressiveness that it was long remembered. Even the tradition 
of late Greek days made Thutmose III the conqueror of the 
Hyksos 2 . Indeed Thutmose’s name became proverbial in Asia, 
and when, four generations later, his successors failed to shield 
their faithful vassals in Naharin from the aggressions of the 
Kheta, the forsaken unfortunates remembered Thutmose’s great 
name, and wrote pathetically to Egypt: ‘Who formerly could 
have plundered Tunip without being plundered by Manakhbiria 
(Thutmose III)?’ But even now, at three score and ten or more, 
the indomitable old warrior had the harbours equipped with the 

1 According to Sethe’s new collation of Thutmose Ill’s Annals, there is 
some doubt about his having made a campaign in the year forty, and there 
was probably no campaign of the year forty-one. The last campaign may 
therefore have been the sixteenth or even the fifteenth. (See Sethe, Urkunden, 
iv, 726-729.) 

2 There can be no serious doubt that ' A\icr<l>pa'y/j,ov&a)o-i<; of Josephus 
(Contra Jpion. 1, 14), which is a corruption oiMi<jj>pa^fiov9mcn<; (Africanus, 
Syncellus; 70, 130), is to be identified with the two cartouche-names of 
Thutmose III. 


necessary supplies, and there is little doubt that if it had been 
necessary he would have led his army into Syria again. Once 
more he received the envoys of the tribute-paying princes in his 
tent, and then for the last time he returned to Egypt. 

In concluding his wars in Asia Thutmose was relinquishing 
what had become a seemingly permanent organization, for his 
campaigning was now as thoroughly organized as the administra- 
tion at Thebes. As soon as the spring rains in Syria and Palestine 
had ceased, he had regularly disembarked his troops in some 
Phoenician or north Syrian harbour. Here his permanent officials 
had effected the collection of the necessary stores from the neigh- 
bouring dynasts, who were compelled to furnish them. His palace- 
herald, or marshal, Intef, who was of the old princely line of 
Thinis, and still held his title as ‘ count of Thinis and lord of the 
entire oasis-region,’ had accompanied him on all his marches; 
and as Thutmose advanced inland Intef preceded him until the 
proximity of the enemy prevented. Whenever he reached a town 
in which the king was expected to spend the night, he sought out 
the palace of the local dynast and prepared it for Thutmose’s 
reception. One is reminded of the regular and detailed prepara- 
tion of Napoleon’s tent, which he always found awaiting him 
after his day’s march, as he rode into the quarters each night. 
Had it been preserved, the life of these warriors of Thutmose 
would form a stirring chapter in the history of the Ancient East. 
The career of his general, Amenemhab, who cut off the elephant’s 
trunk and rescued the king, is but a hint of the life of the Pharaoh’s 
followers in bivouac and on battlefield, crowded to the full with 
perilous adventure and hard-won distinction. The fame of these 
tried veterans of Thutmose, of course, found its way among the 
common people and many a stirring adventure from the Syrian 
campaigns took form in folk-tales, told with eager interest in the 
market-places and the streets of Thebes. A lucky chance has 
rescued one of these tales on a page or two of papyrus. It concerns 
one Thutiy, a great general of Thutmose, and his clever capture 
of the city of Joppa by introducing his picked soldiers into the 
town, concealed in panniers, borne by a train of donkeys, an 
incident long afterward reappearing in ‘All Baba and the Forty 
Thieves.’ But Thutiy was not a creation of fancy; his tomb, 
though now unknown, must still exist somewhere in Thebes, for 
it was plundered many years ago by the natives, who took from 
it some of the rich gifts which Thutmose gave him as a reward 
for his valour. A splendid golden dish, which found its way into 
the Louvre, bears the words: ‘Given as a distinction from king 


Thutmose to the prince and priest who satisfies the king in every 
country, and the isles in the midst of the sea, filling the treasury 
with lapis lazuli, silver and gold, the governor of countries, com- 
mander of the army, favourite of the king, the king’s scribe, 

Had the great king’s Annals survived intact we could have 
followed step by step the entire course of his campaigns; for a 
record of every day’s happenings was carefully kept by one 
Thaneni, a scribe appointed for the purpose by Thutmose. 
Thaneni tells us of his duties with great pride, saying : ‘ I followed 
king Thutmose; I beheld the victories of the king which he won 

in every country I recorded the victories which he won in 

every land, putting them into writing according to the facts.’ 
These records of Thaneni were seemingly rolls of leather, but 
they have perished and we have upon the walls at Karnak only 
the capricious extracts of a temple scribe, more anxious to set 
forth the spoil and Amon’s share therein than to perpetuate the 
story of his king’s great deeds. How much he has passed over, 
the biography of Amenemhab shows only too well; and thus all 
that we have of the wars of Egypt’s greatest commander has 
filtered through the shrivelled soul of an ancient bureaucrat, who 
little dreamed how hungrily future ages would ponder his meagre 

Having at last established the sovereignty of Egypt in Asia on 
a permanent basis, Thutmose could now turn his attention to 
Nubia. It is evident that Menkheperreseneb, the head of his gold 
and silver treasury, was now receiving thence six to eight hundred 
pounds of gold every year. The king also organized the neigh- 
bouring gold country on the Coptos road and put it under a 
‘governor of the gold country of Coptos.’ His viceroy, Nehi, had 
now been administering Kush for twenty years and had placed the 
productivity of the country on a high plane; but it was the desire 
of the great king to extend still farther his dominions in the 
south. In his last years his buildings show that he was extremely 
active throughout the province; as far as the third cataract we 
trace his temples at Kalabsheh, Amada, Wadi Haifa, Kummeh 
and Semneh, where he restored the temple of his great ancestor 
Sesostris III, and at Soleb. We learn, through the clearance of the 
canal at the first cataract in the fiftieth year, that an expedition of 
his was then returning from a campaign against the Nubians. 
There must have been earlier expeditions also in the same region, 
for Thutmose was able to record in duplicate upon the pylons of 
his Karnak temple a list of one hundred and fifteen places which 




he had conquered in Nubia and another containing some four 
hundred such names. The geography of Nubia is too little known 
to enable us to locate the territory represented, and it is uncertain 
exactly how far up the Nile his new frontier may have been, but 
it was doubtless in the region of the fourth cataract, where we 
find it under his son. 

As he felt his strength failing, the great king made co-regent 
his son, Amenhotep II, born to him by Hatshepsut-Meretre, a 
queen of whose origin we know nothing. It was twelve years 
since he had returned from his last campaign in Asia. When the 
co-regency had lasted for about a year, in the spring of the year 
1447 b.c. 1 , when he was within five weeks of the end of his 
fifty-fourth year upon the throne, the greatest of the Egyptian 
conquerors passed away. He was buried in his tomb in the 
Valley of the Kings by his son, and his body still survives. 

The character of Thutmose III stands forth with more of 
colour and individuality than that of any king of early Egypt, 
except Ikhnaton. We see the man of a tireless energy unknown 
in any Pharaoh before or since; the man of versatility, designing 
exquisite vases in a moment of leisure; the lynx-eyed administrator, 
who launched his armies upon Asia with one hand and with the 
other crushed the extortionate tax-gatherer. His vizier, Rekhmire, 
who stood closest to his person, says of him: ‘Lo, his majesty 
was one who knew what happened; there was nothing of which 
he was ignorant; he was Thoth (the god of knowledge) in every- 
thing; there was no matter which he did not carry out.’ While he 
was proud to leave a record of his unparalleled achievements, 
Thutmose protests more than once his deep respect for the truth 
in so doing. ‘I have not uttered exaggeration,’ says he, ‘in order 
to boast of that which I did, saying, “I have done something,” 
although my majesty had not done it. I have not done anything 
...against which contradiction might be uttered. I have done 
this for my father, Amon... because he knoweth heaven and he 
knoweth earth, he seeth the whole earth hourly.’ 

It is quite evident, indeed, that the reign of Thutmose III 
marks an epoch not only in Egypt but in the whole Near East as 
we know it in his age. Never before in history had a single brain 
wielded the resources of so great a nation and wrought them 
into such centralized, permanent, and at the same time mobile 
efficiency, that for years they could be brought to bear with 
incessant impact upon another continent as a skilled artisan 

1 In accordance with Sethe’s view of the New Moon dates mentioned in 
footnote, p. 67, this date would be three years earlier. 


IV, ii] 


manipulates a hundred-ton forge hammer; although the figure is 
inadequate unless we remember that Thutmose forged his own 
hammer. The genius which rose from an obscure priestly office 
to accomplish this for the first time in history reminds us of a 
Napoleon. He was the first to build an empire in any real 
sense; he was the first world-hero. He made, not only a world- 
wide impression upon his age, but an impression of a new 
order. His commanding figure, towering over the trivial plots 
and schemes of the petty Syrian dynasts, must have clarified 
the atmosphere of oriental politics as a strong wind drives away 
miasmic vapours. The inevitable chastisement of his strong 
arm was held in awed remembrance by the men of Naharin 
for three generations. His name was one to conjure with, and 
centuries after his empire had crumbled to pieces it was placed 
on amulets as a word of power. And to-day two of this king’s 
greatest monuments, his Heliopolitan obelisks, now rise on 
opposite shores of the western ocean, memorials of the world’s 
first empire-builder. 




E GYPT had now become the controlling power in the far- 
reaching group of civilizations clustering in and about the 
eastern end of the Mediterranean, the centre, perhaps the nucleus, 
of the civilized world of that day. As she had been for over 
two thousand years the dominant civilizing force in the great 
complex of eastern Mediterranean states, so she was now like- 
wise its political arbiter and economic centre. Seated astride 
both the inter-continental and the inter-oceanic highway, Egypt 
was building up and dominating the world of contiguous 
Africa and Eurasia. Traditional limits disappeared, the currents 
of life eddied no longer within the landmarks of tiny kingdoms, 
but pulsed from end to end of a great empire, embracing many 
kingdoms and tongues, from the upper Nile to the upper Eu- 
phrates. The wealth of Asiatic trade, circulating through the 
eastern end of the Mediterranean, which once flowed down the 
Euphrates to Babylon, was thus diverted to the Nile Delta, long 
before united by canal with the Red Sea. All the world traded in 
the Delta markets. Assyria was still in her infancy and Babylonia 
no longer possessed any political influence in the west. The 
Pharaoh looked forward to an indefinite lease of power throughout 
the vast empire which he had conquered. 

The administration and organization of this Empire represent 
the earliest efforts of a government to devise an imperial system. 
Our scanty sources reveal little regarding it. The whole region of 
neighbouring Asia was under the general control of a ‘governor 
of the north countries’ : Thutmose’s general, Thutiy, having been 
the first to hold that office. To bridle the turbulent Asiatic dynasts 
it was necessary permanently to station troops throughout Syria. 
Strongholds named after the Pharaoh were established and 
troops placed in them as garrisons under deputies with power to 
act as the Pharaoh’s representatives. Thutmose III erected one 
such at the south end of Lebanon; he resuscitated another founded 
by his predecessors at some city on the Phoenician coast, where 


CHAP. V, i] 


we find a sanctuary of Amon, the State-god of Egypt, and there 
was probably such a temple in each of the garrison towns. Yet 
another stronghold at Ikathi, in farthest Naharin, was doubtless 
his foundation. Remains of an Egyptian temple found by Renan 
at Byblus probably belong to this period. In local administration 
the city-kings were allowed to rule their little states with great 
freedom, as long as they paid the annual tribute with promptness 
and regularity. When such a ruler died his son, who, as already 
noted, had been educated at Thebes, was installed in the father’s 
place. The Asiatic conquests were therefore rather a series of 
tributary kingdoms than provinces: the latter, indeed, represent 
a system of foreign government as yet in its infancy, or only 
roughly foreshadowed in the rule of the viceroy of Kush. How 
the local government of the city-kings was related to the adminis- 
tration of the ‘governor of the north countries’ is entirely un- 
certain. Apparently his office was largely a fiscal one, for Thutiy, 
Thutmose’s governor, adds to his name the phrase ‘filling the 
treasury with lapis lazuli, silver and gold.’ But it is evident that 
the dynasts collected their own taxes and rendered a part to the 
Pharaoh. How large a part this may have been we do not know; 
nor have we the slightest idea as to the amount of the Pharaoh’s 
total revenue from Asia. 

When the news of Thutmose Ill’s death reached Asia the 
opportunity was as usual improved by the dynasts, who made 
every preparation to throw off the irksome obligation of the 
annual tribute. All Naharin, including the Mitanni princes, and 
probably also the northern coast cities, were combined or at least 
simultaneous in the uprising. With all his father’s energy the 
young Amenhotep II prepared for the crisis and marched into 
Asia against the allies, who had collected a large army. Leaving 
Egypt with his forces in the April of his second year (1447 
Amenhotep was in touch with the enemy in northern Palestine in 
early May and immediately fought an action at Shemesh-Edom 
against the princes of Lebanon. The enemy was routed. By 
May 1 2 he had crossed the Orontes for the last time in his north- 
ward advance, probably at Senzar, and turned north-eastward for 
the Euphrates. After a skirmish with the Naharin vanguard he 
pushed rapidly on and captured seven of the rebellious dynasts 
in the land of Tikhsi. On May 26, fourteen days after leaving 
the Orontes, he arrived at Niy, which opened its gates to him; 
and with the men and women of the town acclaiming him from 
the walls he entered the place in triumph. Ten days later, on 
June 5, he had rescued a garrison of his troops from the treachery 




of the revolting town of Ikathi and punished its inhabitants. As 
he reached his extreme limit, which probably surpassed his 
father’s, and penetrated Mitanni, he set up a boundary tablet, as 
his father and grandfather had done. 

His return was a triumphal procession. As he approached 
Memphis, the populace assembled in admiring crowds while his 
lines passed, driving with them over five hundred of the north 
Syrian lords, two hundred and forty of their women, two hundred 
and ten horses and three hundred chariots. His herald had in 
charge for the chief treasurer over four-fifths of a ton of gold in 
the form of vases and various vessels, besides nearly fifty tons of 
copper. Proceeding to Thebes, he took with him the seven kings 
of Tikhsi, who were hung head downward on the prow of his 
royal barge as he approached the city. He himself sacrificed them 
in the presence of Amon and hanged their bodies on the walls of 
Thebes, reserving one for a lesson to the Nubians, as we shall see. 
His unexpected promptness and energy had evidently crushed 
the revolt before it had been able to muster all its forces, and 
so far as we know, the lesson was so effective that no further 
rising against his suzerainty in Asia was ever attempted. Never- 
theless, so customary had the practice of war become in the career 
of a Pharaoh that Amenhotep’s records refer to the expedition as 
‘his first campaign,’ although no second campaign in Asia is 
known to us. 

On his arrival at Thebes the young Pharaoh could now direct 
his attention to the other extremity of his empire. He dispatched 
an expedition into Nubia, bearing the body of the seventh king 
of the land of Tikhsi, which was hung up on the walls of Napata, 
as a hint of what the Nubians might expect should they attempt 
to revolt against their new sovereign. His frontier was guarded 
by Napata, just below the fourth cataract, and the region of 
Karoy, in which the town lay, was from this time on known as 
the southern limit of Egyptian administration. To this point 
extended the jurisdiction of the ‘viceroy of Kush and governor of 
the south countries.’ The entire fertile Dongola province of to-day 
was thus included in the Egyptian administration. Beyond Amen- 
hotep’s boundary tablets which he set up at this southern frontier, 
there was no more control of the rude Nubian tribes than was 
necessary to keep open the trade-routes from the south and 
prevent the barbarians from raiding the province. 

Thenceforward Amenhotep II was not involved in war. 
Besides his now vanished mortuary temple on the west side of 
the Nile, by that of his father, we learn of a number of other 


sumptuous buildings and restorations. We are able to discern 
little of him personally, but he seems to have been a worthy son 
of the great king. Physically he was a very powerful man and 
claims in his inscriptions that no man could draw his bow. The 
weapon was found in his tomb and bears the words after his name : 
‘Smiter of the Troglodytes, over thrower of Kush, hacking up 
their cities... the great Wall of Egypt, protector of his soldiers.’ 
It is evidently this story which furnished Herodotus with the 
legend that Cambyses was unable to draw the bow of the king of 
Ethiopia. He celebrated his jubilee on the thirtieth anniversary 
of his appointment as crown prince and erected an obelisk in 
Elephantine in commemoration of the event. Dying about 1420 
b.c., after a reign of some twenty-seven years, he was interred like 
his ancestors in the Valley of the Kings’ Tombs, where his body 
rests to this day, though even yet a prey to the clever tomb-robbers 
of modern Thebes, who in November, 1901, forced the tomb and 
cut through the wrappings of the mummy in their search for 
royal treasure on the body of their ancient ruler. Their Theban 
ancestors in the same craft, however, had three thousand years ago 
taken good care that nothing should be left for their descendants. 

If we may believe a folk-tale which was in circulation some 
centuries later, Thutmose IV, Amenhotep II’s son, was not at 
first designed to be his father’s successor. The story recounted 
how, long before his father’s death, a hunting expedition once 
carried the young prince into the desert near the pyramids of 
Gizeh, where the Pharaohs of the IVth Dynasty had already slept 
over thirteen hundred years. Resting in the shadow of the great 
Sphinx at noon time, he fell asleep, and the Sun-god, with whom 
the Sphinx in his time was identified, appeared to him in a dream, 
beseeching him to clear his image of the sand which already at 
that early day encumbered it. As a reward the Sun-god at the 
same time promised him the kingdom. The prince made a vow 
to do as the great god desired, and immediately upon his accession 
the young king hastened to redeem his vow. He cleared the 
gigantic figure of the Sphinx and recorded the whole incident on 
a stela in the vicinity. A later version, made by the priests of the 
palace, was engraved on a huge granite architrave taken from the 
neighbouring Khafre temple and erected against the breast of the 
Sphinx between his fore-legs, where it still stands. 

Thutmose IV was also early called upon to maintain the empire 
in Asia. While we know nothing of his operations there, he was 
afterward able to record in the state temple at Thebes the spoil, 
‘which his majesty captured in Naharin the wretched, on his 




first victorious campaign.’ The immediate result of his appearance 
in Naharin was to quiet all disaffection there as far as the vassal- 
princes were concerned. He returned by way of Lebanon, where 
he forced the chiefs to furnish him with a cargo of cedar for the 
sacred barge of Amon at Thebes. Arriving at Thebes, he settled 
a colony of the prisoners, possibly from the city of Gezer in 
Palestine, in the enclosure of his mortuary temple, which he had 
erected by those of his ancestors on the plain at Thebes. Perhaps 
the recognition of a common enemy in the Kheta now necessitated 
a rapprochement between the Pharaoh and Mitanni, for the latter 
was soon to suffer from the aggressions of the king of Kheta (the 
Hittites). Thutmose, evidently desiring a powerful friend in the 
north, inaugurated an entirely new Egyptian policy on the 
northern frontier of the Asiatic empire, viz. that of alliance with 
a leading and once hostile power. It was a good policy but its 
success depended upon the wisdom with which the Asiatic ally 
was chosen. Thutmose IV was not wholly successful in his 
selection. What he knew of the Kheta we cannot now determine. 
He chose as his northern ally Artatama, the Mitannian king, and 
sending to him, desired his daughter in marriage. After some 
proper display of reluctance, Artatama consented, and the Mitan- 
nian princess was sent to Egypt, where she probably received an 
Egyptian name, Mutemuya, and became the mother of the next 
king of Egypt, Amenhotep III. This alliance with Mitanni for- 
bade all thought of future conquest by the Pharaoh east of the 
Euphrates 1 , and in harmony with this policy a friendly alliance 
was also cemented with Babylonia. 

Thutmose’s momentous operations in Asia were followed by a 
brief war in Nubia in his eighth year, which it is probable he did 
not long survive. He was therefore unable to beautify Thebes 
and adorn the state temple as his fathers had done. But the 
respect in which he held his grandfather, Thutmose III, led him 
to the completion of a notable work of the latter. For thirty-five 
years the last obelisk planned by Thutmose III had been lying 
unfinished at the southern portal of the Karnak temple enclosure 
or temenos. His grandson now had it engraved in the old con- 
queror’s name, recorded also upon it his own pious deed in con- 
tinuing the work, and erected the colossal shaft, one hundred and 

1 On the basis of a decorative list of foreign countries shown as captives 
on the bases of the columns in Amenhotep Ill’s Soleb temple, it has some- 
times been supposed that this Pharaoh ruled the lands of Mesopotamia; but 
the Amarna Letters are quite decisive on this point, the Egyptian empire 
never included Mesopotamia. 


five-and-a-half feet high, the largest surviving obelisk, at the 
southern portal of the enclosure, where he had found it lying. It 
now stands before the Lateran in Rome. Not long after this 
gracious act, which may possibly have been in celebration of his 
own jubilee, Thutmose IV was gathered to his fathers (about 
14x1 b.c.) and was buried in the valley where they slept. 

His son, the third of the Amenhoteps, was the most luxurious 
and splendid, as he was also the last, of the great Egyptian em- 
perors. He was but the great-grandson of Thutmose III, but 
with him the high tide of Egyptian power was already slowly on 
the ebb, and he was not the man to stem the tide. Nevertheless 
in the administration of his great empire Amenhotep III began 
well. Toward the close of his fourth year trouble in Nubia called 
him south. After defeating the enemy decisively somewhere above 
the second cataract, Amenhotep marched southward for a month, 
taking captives and spoil as he went. It is difficult to determine 
the exact limit of his southern advance. In the land of Karoy, 
with which the reader is now acquainted as the region about 
Napata, he collected great quantities of gold for his Theban 
buildings, and at Kebehu-Hor, or ‘the Pool of Horus,’ he erected 
his tablet of victory, but we are unable to locate the place with 
certainty. It was certainly not much in advance of the frontier 
of his father. This was the last great invasion of Nubia by the 
Pharaohs. It was constantly necessary to punish the outlying 
tribes for their incessant predatory incursions into the Nile valley; 
but the valley itself, as far as the fourth cataract, was completely 
subjugated, and as far as the second cataract largely Egyptianized. 
This process went steadily forward until the country up to the 
fourth cataract was effectually engrafted with Egyptian civiliza- 
tion. Egyptian temples had now sprung up at every larger town, 
and the Egyptian gods were worshipped therein; the Egyptian 
arts were learned by the Nubian craftsmen, and everywhere the 
rude barbarism of the upper Nile was receiving the stamp of 
Egyptian culture. Nevertheless the native chieftains, under the 
surveillance of the viceroy, were still permitted to retain their 
titles and honours, and doubtless continued to enjoy at least a 
nominal share in the government. We find them as far north as 
Ibrim, which had marked the southern limit of Amenhotep Ill’s 
levy of Nubian auxiliaries, and was therefore probably the 
extreme point to which local administration solely by Egyptian 
officials extended southward. In race it should be noted that the 
population of these regions ruled by Egypt on the upper Nile 
was composed of Nubians, not of negroes. While some negroes 




filtered into the southern Nubian provinces of Egypt, the Egyptian 
frontier at the fourth cataract evidently did not include any negro 
territory, which was at that time, as at present, well south of the 
fourth cataract. The first appearance of real negroes on the 
Egyptian monuments, that is, their first appearance in history, is, 
as H. Junker has argued, to be dated in the Egyptian empire, 
beginning with the age of Thutmose III; but even the empire 
never included any exclusively negro territory. 

In Asia Amenhotep III enjoyed unchallenged supremacy; at the 
court of Babylon, even, his suzerainty in ‘Canaan,’ as they called 
Syria-Palestine, was acknowledged; and when the dynasts at- 
tempted to involve Kurigalzu, king of Babylon, in an alliance with 
them against the Pharaoh, he wrote them an unqualified refusal, 
stating that he was in alliance with the Pharaoh, an d even threatened 
them with hostilities if they formed a hostile alliance against 
Egypt (see p. 232). All the powers: Babylonia, Assyria, Mitanni 
and Alashiya (? Cyprus), were exerting every effort to gain the 
friendship of Egypt. A scene of world politics, such as is unknown 
before in history, now unfolds before us. From the Pharaoh’s court 
as the centre radiated a host of lines of communication with all the 
great peoples of the age. These are revealed to us in the Tell el- 
Amarna Letters, perhaps the most interesting mass of documents 
surviving from the early East (see below, p. 128). In this corre- 
spondence we look out across the kingdoms of Hither Asia as one 
might see them on a stage, each king playing his part before the 
great throne of the Pharaoh. Five letters survive from the corre- 
spondence between Amenhotep III and Kadashman-Enlil, king 
of Babylonia; one from the Pharaoh and the others from the 
Babylonian. The latter is constantly in need of gold and insistently 
importunes his brother of Egypt to send him large quantities of 
the precious metal, which, he says, is as plentiful as dust in Egypt, 
according to the reports of the Babylonian messengers. Con- 
siderable friction results from the dissatisfaction of the Babylonian 
king at the amounts with which Amenhotep favours him. He 
refers to the fact that Amenhotep had received from his father a 
daughter in marriage, and makes this relationship a reason for 
further gifts of gold. As the correspondence goes on another 
marriage is negotiated between a daughter of Amenhotep and 
Kadashman-Enlil or his son. Similarly the Pharaoh enjoys the 
most intimate connection with Shuttarna, the king of Mitanni, 
the son of Artatama, with whom his father, Thutmose IV, had 
maintained the most cordial relations. Indeed Amenhotep was 
perhaps the nephew of Shuttarna, from whom, in the tenth year of 


the Pharaoh’s reign, he received a daughter, Gilukhipa, in marriage 
(p, 300). In celebration of this union Amenhotep issued a series 
of scarab-beetles of stone bearing an inscription commemorating 
the event, and stating that the princess brought with her a train 
of three hundred and seventeen ladies and attendants. On the 
death of Shuttarna the alliance was continued under his son, 
Tushratta, from whom Amenhotep later received, as a wife for 
his son and successor, a second Mitannian princess, Tadukhipa, 
the daughter of Tushratta. The correspondence between the two 
kings is very illuminating and may serve as an example of such 
communications. The following is a letter of Tushratta to his 
Egyptian ally (No. xix): 

Speak unto Nimuria (i.e, Amenhotep III), the great king, the king of 
Egypt, my brother, my son-in-law, who loves me and whom I love, saying: 
Tushratta, the great king, thy father-in-law, who loves thee, the king of 
Mitanni, thy brother. It is well with me. With thee may it be well, with 
thy house, with my sister and with the rest of thy wives, thy sons, thy 
chariots, thy horses, thy army, thy land, and all thy possessions, may it be 
very well indeed. In the time of thy fathers, they were on very friendly 
terms with my fathers. Now thou hast increased (this friendship) still more 
and with my father thou hast been on very friendly terms indeed. Now, 
therefore, since thou and I are on mutually friendly terms, thou hast made 
(it) ten times greater than (with) my father. May the gods cause this friend- 
ship of ours to prosper. May Teshub (the god of Mitanni), my lord, and 
Amon eternally proclaim it as it is now. 

And when my brother sent his messenger, Mane, my brother verily 
said: "Send me thy daughter for my wife, to be queen of Egypt’ I did not 
grieve the heart of my brother, but I spoke formerly: "I will indeed gratify 
(thee).’ And the one my brother asked for I presented to Mane, and he 

looked upon her. When he saw her, he greatly (?). Now may he bring 

her safely to my brother’s land, and may Ishtar and Amon make her corre- 
spond to my brother’s wish. 

Gilia, my messenger, has brought to me my brother’s words: when I 
heard them, then they seemed to me very good, and I was very glad indeed 
and said: ‘It is inviolable (?) that we maintain friendship between us and 
with one another.’ Behold, in view of these words, we will maintain friend- 
ship forever. Now when I wrote unto my brother and spoke, verily I said: 
‘We win be very friendly indeed, and between us we shall be good friends’; 
and I said to my brother: ‘Let my brother grant me ten times greater 
measure than to my father,’ and I asked of my brother a great deal of gold, 
saying: ‘Much more than to my father let my brother give me and may 
my brother send me. Thou sentest my father a great deal of gold: a large 
offering vessel of gold, and vessels of gold, thou sentest him; thou sentest 
(him?) a tablet of gold as if it were alloyed with copper.... So let my 
brother send gold in very great quantity which cannot be counted,... and 
may my brother send more gold than my father received. For in my brother’s 
land gold is as common as dust.’ 


Aijalon, D 8 

Kadesh (on the Orontes), E 5 

Akko, D 7 

Karkar (Qarqar), E 4 

Alasa, A 4 

Katna, Ketne, E 5 

Aleppo, F 3 

Keblr, Nahr el-, E 5 

Altaku (Eltekeh), C8 

Amanus Mountains, E 2, 3 

Lachish, C 8 

Amki, D 3 

Lebanon, D 5, E 4, 5 

Ammon, D 7, 8 

Litany, R., D 6 

Amor, D 6, E 5 

Arad, D 8 

Megiddo, D 7 

Arama, E 4 

Mitanni, G 3 

Aruna, D 7 

Moab, D 8, 9 

Arvad, D 5 

Ashdod, C 8 

Naharin, E 4-H 3 

Askalon, C 8 

Niy, G 4 

Beirut, D 6 

Beth Anoth, D 8 

Nuges, D 6 

Othu ( see Usu, Map 3), D 6 

Beth-Horon, D 8 

Beth-shean (or shan), D 7 

Qarqar, E 4 

Byblus, D 5 

Carclxemish, G 3 

Cyprus, A 5 

Riblah (for Ribleh), E 5 

Sam’ai, F 2 

Damascus, E 6 

Seir, CD 9 

Senzar, E 4 

Deper (for Depet), ? = Tabor, D 7 

Sharuhen, C 8 

Dor, C 7 

Shunem, D 7 

Edom, C 8 

Sidon, D 6 

Simyra, E 5 

Ekereth, DE 3 

Socoh, D 8 

Eleutherus, R., E 5 

Erkatu, D 4 

Taanach, D 7 

Euphrates, R., GH 4 

Tharu, B 9 

Gezer, C 8 

Tunip, E 4 

Tyre, D 6 

Hamath, E 4 

Ubi, E 6 

Hapharaim, D 7 

Ugarit, DE 3 

Hauran, D 7, E 6, 7 

Ullaza, D 5 

‘Height of Wan/ E 3 

Herenkeru, D 6 

Wan, Height of, E 3 

Isi, B 4 

Yehem, D 7 

Jerusalem, D 8 

Yenoam, D 6 

Yeraza, D 8 

Jordan, R., D 7, 8 

Kadesh (Naphtali), D 6 

Zenjirli, E 3 




Trade now developed as never before. The only foreign com- 
merce of Egypt herself, which the monuments clearly disclose to 
us, was carried on by the Pharaohs themselves, reminding us of 
Solomon’s trafficking as a horse-merchant and his ventures in 
partnership with Hiram of Tyre. But there is no reason to suppose 
that the Pharaohs made foreign merchandizing their own ex- 
clusive prerogative, though we shall probably never know how 
many great merchants of Egypt were able to follow the example 
of Hatshepsut and her royal predecessors, as far back as the Vth 
Dynasty, in their impressive voyages to Punt. It is evident that 
the Nile, from the Delta to the cataracts, was now alive with the 
freight of all the world, which flowed into it from the Red Sea 
fleets and from long caravans passing back and forth through the 
Isthmus of Suez, bearing the rich stuffs of Syria, the spices and 
aromatic woods of the east, the weapons and chased vessels of 
the Phoenicians, and a myriad of other things, which brought 
their Semitic names into the hieroglyphic and their use into the 
life of the Nile-dwellers. Parallel with the land traffic through the 
isthmus were the routes of commerce on the Mediterranean, 
thickly dotted with the richly laden galleys of Phoenicia, con- 
verging upon the Delta from all quarters and bringing to the 
markets of the Nile the decorated vessels or damascened bronzes 
from the Mycenaean industrial settlements of the Aegean. A 
tomb-painting of Egyptian Thebes shows us several Phoenician 
craft of Egyptian models tied up at Nile docks, with Syrian crews 
and merchants trafficking in the Egyptian bazaars. The products 
of Egyptian industry were likewise in use in the palace of the 
sea-kings of Cnossus, in Rhodes, and in Cyprus, where numbers 
of Pharaonic monuments of this age have been found. Scarabs 
and bits of glazed ware with the name of Amenhotep III or his 
queen Tiy have also been discovered on the mainland of Greece 
at Mycenae — the earliest dated tokens of high civilization on 
the continent of Europe. See vol. i, p. 176. 

The diffusion of Nile-valley civilization which had been going 
on from prehistoric times was now more rapid. The eastern 
Mediterranean peoples, especially, were feeling the impact of 
Egyptian culture. In Crete Egyptian religious forms had been 
introduced, in one case seemingly under the personal leadership 
of an Egyptian priest. Aegean artists were powerfully influenced 
by the incoming products of Egypt. Egyptian landscapes appear 
in their metal work, and the lithe animal forms in instantaneous 
postures which were caught by the pencil of the Theban artists 
were now common in Crete. The superb decorated ceilings of 

C.A.H. II 





Thebes likewise appear in the great tomb at Orchomenus. Even 
the pre-Greek writing of Crete shows traces of the influence of 
the hieroglyphics of the Nile. The men of the Aegean world, 
the men of Keftiu, who brought these things to their countrymen, 
were now a familiar sight upon the streets of Thebes, where the 
wares which they offered were also modifying the art of Egypt. 
The plentiful silver of the north now came in with the northern 
strangers in great quantities, and, although under the Hyksos 
the baser metal had been worth twice as much as gold, the latter 
now and permanently became the more valuable medium. The 
ratio was now about one and two-thirds to one, and the value of 
silver steadily fell until Ptolemaic times, when the ratio was 
twelve to one. 

Such intercourse required protection and regulation. Roving 
bands of Lycian pirates infested the coasts of the eastern Medi- 
terranean; they boldly entered the harbours of Alashiya and 
plundered the towns, and even landed on the coast of the Delta. 
Amenhotep III was therefore obliged to develop marine police 
which patrolled the coast of the Delta and constantly held the 
mouths of the river closed against all but lawful comers. Custom- 
houses were also maintained by these police officials at the same 
places, and all merchandise not consigned to the king was dutiable. 
The income from this source must have been large, but we have 
no means of estimating it. All the land-routes leading into the 
country were similarly policed, and foreigners who could not 
satisfactorily explain their business were turned back, while 
legitimate trade was encouraged, protected and properly taxed. 


The influx of slaves, chiefly of Semitic race, which had begun 
under Thutmose III, still continued, and the king’s chief scribe 
distributed them throughout the land and enrolled them among 
the tax-paying serfs. As this host of foreigners intermarried with 
the natives, the large infusion of strange blood began to make 
itself felt in a new and composite type of face, if we may trust 
the artists of the day. The incalculable wealth which had now 
been converging upon the coffers of the Pharaoh for over a 
century also began to exert a profound influence, which, as under 
like conditions, in later history, was far from wholesome. On New 
Year’s Day the king presented his nobles with a profusion of 


costly gifts which would have amazed the Pharaohs of the 
Pyramid Age. In the old days the monarch rewarded a faithful 
noble with land, which, in order to pay a return, must be properly 
cultivated and administered, thus fostering simplicity and whole- 
some country virtues on a large domain; but the favourite now 
received convertible wealth, which required no administration to 
be utilized. The luxury and display of the metropolis supplanted 
the old rustic simplicity and sturdy elemental virtues. From the 
Pharaoh down to the humblest scribe this change was evident, 
if in nothing else than the externals of costume; for the simple 
linen kilt from the hips to the knees, which once satisfied all, not 
excluding the king, had now given way to an elaborate costume, 
with long plaited skirt, and a rich tunic with flowing sleeves. Under 
Thutmose IV even the simple and long-revered Pharaonic costume 
had been displaced by an elaborate royal garment in the new 
mode. The unpretentious head-dress of the old time was replaced 
by an elaborately curled wig hanging down upon the shoulders; 
while the once bare feet were shod in elegant sandals, with taper- 
ing toes curled up at the tips. A noble of the landed class from 
the court of an Amenemhet or Senusret, could he have walked 
the streets of Thebes in Amenhotep Ill’s day, would almost have 
been at a loss to know in what country he had suddenly found 
himself; while his own antiquated costume, which had survived 
only among the priests, would have awakened equal astonishment 
among the fashionable Thebans of the day. He would not have 
felt less strange than a noble of Elizabeth’s reign in the streets of 
modern London. Cf. p. 421. 

All about him he would have found elegant chateaux and 
luxurious villas, with charming gardens and summer-houses 
grouped about vast temples, such as the Nile-dweller had never 
seen before. The wealth and the captive labour of Asia and Nubia 
were being rapidly transmuted into noble architecture, and at 
Thebes a new and fundamental chapter in the history of the 
world’s architecture was being daily written. Amenhotep gave 
himself with appreciation and enthusiasm to such works, and 
placed at the disposal of his architects all the resources which 
they needed for an ampler practice of their art than had ever 
• before been possible. There were among them men of the highest 
gifts, and one of them, who bore the same name as the king, 
gained such a wide reputation for his wisdom that his sayings 
circulated in Greek some twelve hundred years later among the 
‘Proverbs of the Seven Wise Men’; and in Ptolemaic times he 
was finally worshipped as a god in the Ptah-temple of Karnak, 





and took his place among the innumerable deities of Egypt as 
‘Amenhotep, son of Hapu.’ 

Under the fingers of such men as these the old and traditional 
elements of Egyptian building were imbued with new life and 
combined into new forms in which they took on a wondrous 
beauty unknown before. Besides this, the unprecedented resources 
of wealth and labour at the command of such an architect enabled 
him to deal with such vast dimensions that the element of size 
alone must have rendered his buildings in the highest degree 
impressive. But of the two forms of temple which now developed, 
the smaller is not less effective than the larger. It was a simple 
rectangular cella, or ‘holy of holies,’ of modest dimensions, with a 
door at each end, surrounded by a portico, the whole being raised 
upon a base of about half the height of the temple walls. With 
the door looking out between two graceful columns, and the 
facade happily set in the retreating vistas of the side colonnades, 
the whole is so successfully proportioned that the trained eye 
immediately recognizes the hand of a master who appreciated the 
full value of simple constructive lines. Indeed, the architects of 
Napoleon’s expedition who brought it to the notice of the modern 
world were charmed with it, and thought that they had discovered 
in it the origin of the Greek peripteral temple. The other and 
larger type of temple, which now reached its highest development, 
differs strikingly from the one just discussed; and perhaps most 
fundamentally in the fact that its colonnades were all within and 
not visible from the outside. The ‘holy of holies,’ as of old, was 
surrounded by a series of chambers, larger than before, as rendered 
necessary by the rich and elaborate ritual which had arisen. 
Before it was a large colonnaded hall, often called the hypostyle, 
while in front of this hall lay an extensive forecourt surrounded 
by a columned portico. In front of this court rose two towers 
(together called a ‘pylon’), which formed the fafade of the temple. 
Their walls inclined inward, they were crowned by a hollow 
cornice, and the great door of the temple opened between them. 
While the masonry, which was of sandstone or limestone, did not 
usually contain large blocks, huge architraves, thirty or forty feet 
long and weighing one or two hundred tons, were not unknown. 
Nearly all the surfaces except those on the columns were em- 
bellished with flat reliefs, the outside walls showing the king in 
battle, while on the inside he appeared in the worship of the 
gods, and all surfaces with slight exception were highly coloured. 
Before the vast double doors of cedar of Lebanon, mounted in 
bronze, rose, one on either side, a pair of obelisks, towering high 


above the pylon-towers; while colossal statues of the king, each 
hewn from a single block, were placed with backs to the pylon, 
on either side of the door. In the use of these elements and this 
general arrangement of the parts, already common before Amen- 
hotep’s reign, his architects created a radically new type, destined 
to survive in frequent use to this day as one of the noblest forms 
of architecture. Cf. p. 410. 

At Luxor, the old southern suburb of Thebes, which had now 
grown into the city, there was a small Xllth Dynasty temple to 
Amon, in front of which Amenhotep planned a vast new sanc- 
tuary. Its great hall was laid out with a row of gigantic columns 
on either side of the central axis, quite surpassing in height any 
pier ever before employed by the Egyptians. Nor were they less 
beautiful for their great size, being masterpieces of proportion, 
with capitals of the graceful, spreading papyrus-flower type. 
These columns were higher than those ranged on both sides of 
the middle, thus producing a higher roof over the central aisle or 
nave and a lower roof over the side aisles, the difference in level 
being filled with tall grated stone windows, the whole forming a 
clerestory, which, it would seem, the Theban architects of Amen- 
hotep III developed out of the light-chutes (the embryonic 
clerestory) of the Old Kingdom, already found some fifteen 
hundred years earlier at Gizeh. Thus were produced the funda- 
mental elements in the basilica and cathedral architecture of 
Europe. Unfortunately the vast hall was unfinished at the death 
of the king, and his son was too ardent an enemy of Amon to 
carry out the work of his father. His later successors walled up 
the magnificent nave, using for this purpose some of the drums 
from the columns of the side aisles which were never set up, and 
the whole stands to-day a mournful wreck of an unfinished work 
of epoch-making importance in the history of architecture. 

Discerning for the first time the possibilities of a monumental 
city — a city which should itself form a vast and symmetrically 
developed monument — Amenhotep now proceeded to give the 
great buildings of the city a unity which they had not before 
possessed. With the river as a great central avenue, the spacious 
temple precincts were ranged on both sides of the stately stream, 
while imposing avenues of sphinxes led down to either shore. 
The king also laid out a beautiful garden in the interval of over 
a mile and a half which separates the Karnak from the Luxor 
temple, and connected the great temples by avenues of rams 
carved in stone, each bearing a statue of the Pharaoh between the 




Nor did the western plain on the other side of the river, behind 
which the conquerors slept, suffer by comparison with the new 
glories of Karnak and Luxor. Along the foot of the rugged cliffs, 
from the modest chapel of Amenhotep I on the north, there 
stretched southward in an imposing line the mortuary temples of 
the emperors. At the south end of this line, but a little nearer 
the river, Amenhotep III erected his own mortuary sanctuary, 
the largest temple of his reign. Two gigantic colossi of the king, 
nearly seventy feet high, each cut from one block and weighing 
over seven hundred tons, besides a pair of obelisks, stood before 
the pylon, which was approached from the river by an avenue of 
jackals sculptured in stone. Numerous other great statues of the 
Pharaoh were ranged about the colonnades of the court. A huge 
stela of sandstone, thirty feet high, inwrought with gold and 
encrusted with costly stones, marked the ceremonial ‘Station of 
the King,’ where Amenhotep stood in performing the official 
duties of the ritual; another, over ten feet high, bore a record of 
all his works for Amon, while the walls and floors of the temple, 
overlaid with gold and silver, displayed the most prodigal mag- 
nificence. The fine taste and technical skill required for such 
supplementary works of the craftsman were now developed to a 
point of classical excellence, beyond which Egyptian art never 
passed. But this sumptuous building, probably the greatest work 
of art ever wrought in Egypt, has vanished utterly. Only the two 
weather-beaten colossi which guarded the entrance still look out 
across the plain, one of them still bearing the scribblings in Greek 
of curious tourists in the times of the Roman Empire who came 
to hear the marvellous voice of Memnon which issued from it 
every morning. A hundred paces behind lies prostrate and 
shattered in two the vast stela, once encrusted with gold and 
costly stones, marking the ‘ Station of the King,’ and upon it one 
may still read the words of Amenhotep regarding the temple: 
‘My majesty has done these things for millions of years, and I 
know that they will abide in the earth.’ We shall later have 
occasion to observe how this regal temple fell a prey to the 
impiety of Amenhotep’s degenerate descendants within two 
hundred years of his death. 

In the days of their splendour, the general effect of these 
Theban buildings must have been imposing in the extreme; the 
brilliant hues of the polychrome architecture, with columns and 
gates overwrought in gold, and floors overlaid with silver, the 
whole dominated by towering obelisks clothed in glittering metal, 
rising high above the rich green of the nodding palms and 


tropical foliage which framed the mass — all this must have pro- 
duced an impression both of gorgeous detail and overwhelming 
grandeur, of which the sombre ruins of the same buildings, im- 
pressive as they are, offer little hint at the present day. As at 
Athens in the days of her glory, the state was fortunate in the 
possession of men of sensitive and creative mind, upon whose 
quick imagination her greatness had profoundly wrought, until 
they were able to embody her external manifestations in forms of 
beauty, dignity and splendour. Thus had Thebes become a 
worthy seat of empire, the first monumental city of antiquity. 

Under such conditions sculpture flourished as never before. 
Along with a tireless patience and nicety in the development of 
detail, the sculptor had at the same time gained a discernment 
of individual traits and a refinement of feeling, a delicacy and 
flexibility combined with strength, before unknown. These 
qualities were sometimes carried into work of such ample pro- 
portions that the sculptor’s command of them under the circum- 
stances is surprising, although not all of the colossal portrait 
statues are successful in these particulars. The success attained 
in the sculpture of impressive animal forms by the artists of this 
reign marked the highest level of such work in the history of 
Egyptian art, and Ruskin has insisted with his customary con- 
viction that the two lions of Amenhotep Ill’s reign now in the 
British Museum are the finest embodiment of animal majesty 
which have survived to us from any ancient people. Especially in 
relief were the artists of this age masters. In such works we may 
study the abandoned grief of the two sons of the High Priest of 
Memphis as they follow their father’s body to the tomb, and note 
how effectively the artist has contrasted with their emotion the 
severe gravity and conventional decorum of the great ministers 
of state behind them, who themselves are again in striking con- 
trast with a heartless Beau Brummell of that distant day, who is 
affectedly arranging the perfumed curls of his elaborate wig. 
The artist who wrought such a piece was a master of ripe and 
matured culture, an observer of life, whose work exhibits alike 
the pathos and the wistful questioning of human sorrow, recog- 
nizing both the necessity and the cruel indifference of official 
conventionality, and seeing, amid all, the play of the vain and 
ostentatious fashions of the hour. Such a work of art exhibits the 
same detachment and capacity to contemplate and criticize life, 
that had already arisen among the social thinkers of the 
Egyptian Feudal Age, and which some modern writers would 
have us believe first appeared in the literary art of Aristophanes. 




Now, too, the Pharaoh’s deeds of prowess inspired the sculptors 
of the time to design more elaborate compositions than they had 
ever before attempted. The battle scenes on the noble chariot of 
Thutmose IV exhibit an unprecedented complexity in drawing, 
and this tendency continued in the XIXth Dynasty. 

We have already referred to the work of the craftsmen in furnish- 
ing and embellishing the temples. While the magnificent jewellery 
of the Middle Kingdom was never later surpassed, and possibly 
never equalled (p. 4x6 jy.), nevertheless the reign of Amenhotep III 
and his successor marked the Grand Age in all the refinements of 
artistic craftsmanship, especially as revealed in the palaces of the 
Pharaoh and the villas of his nobles. Such works as these, together 
with temples and gardens, made the western plain of Thebes a 
majestic prospect as the observer advanced from the river, 
ascending Amenhotep’s avenue of sculptured jackals. On the left, 
behind the temple and nearer the cliffs, appeared a palace of the 
king, of rectangular wooden architecture in bright colours; very 
light and airy, and having over the front entrance a gorgeous 
cushioned balcony with graceful columns, in which the king 
showed himself to his favourites on occasion. Innumerable pro- 
ducts of the industrial artists, which fill the museums of Europe, 
indicate with what tempered richness and delicate beauty such a 
royal chateau was furnished and adorned. Magnificent vessels 
in gold and silver, with figures of men and animals, plants and 
flowers rising from the brim, glittered on the king’s table among 
crystal goblets, glass vases (made by the sons of the craftsmen 
who produced the earliest known glass vessels), and grey glazed 
bowls inlaid with pale blue designs. The walls were covered with 
woven tapestry which skilled judges have declared equal to the 
best modern work. Besides painted pavements depicting animal 
life, the walls also were adorned with blue glazed tiles, the rich 
colour of which shone through elaborate designs in gold leaf, 
while glazed figures were employed in encrusting larger surfaces. 
The ceilings were a deep blue sky across which floated soaring 
birds done in bright colours. Ceiling, walls and floor merged in 
a unified colour scheme which was developed with fine and 
intelligent consideration of the room as a whole. Of the painting 
of the time the best examples were in the palaces, but these 
buildings, being of wood and sun-dried brick, have perished. 
Enough has survived however to show us that in all the refined 
arts it was an age like that of Louis XV. It is evident that 
literature did not lag behind the other arts, but unhappily chance 
has preserved to us little of the literature of this remarkable age. 


There is a triumphant hymn to Thutmose III, and we shall read 
portions of the remarkable Sun-hymn of Ikhnaton; but of 
narrative, song and legend, which must have flourished from the 
rise of the Empire, our surviving documents date almost exclu- 
sively from the XIXth Dynasty. The music of the period was more 
elaborate than ever before, for the art had made progress since 
the days of the old simplicity. The harp was now a huge instru- 
ment as tall as a man, and had some twenty strings; the lyre had 
been introduced from Asia, and the full orchestra contained the 
harp, the lyre, the lute and the double pipes. 

In the midst of sumptuous splendour, such as no ruler of men 
had ever enjoyed before, this great emperor of the east devoted 
himself to his life of luxury and the beautification of his imperial 
city. Around his palace on the west side of the river he laid out 
an exclusive quarter which he gave to his queen, Tiy. He ex- 
cavated a large lake in the enclosure, about a mile long and over 
a thousand feet wide, and at the celebration of his coronation 
anniversary in his twelfth year, he opened the sluices for filling 
it, and sailed out upon it in the royal barge with his queen, in 
such a gorgeous festival ‘fantasia’ as we find in the Arabian 
Nights in the days of the notorious Harun el-Rashid. Such 
festivals, now common in Thebes, enriched the life of the fast 
growing metropolis with a kaleidoscopic variety which may be 
compared only with similar periods in Rome under the emperors. 
The religious feasts of the seventh month were celebrated with 
such opulent splendour, that the month quickly gained the epithet, 
‘That of Amenhotep,’ a designation still surviving among the 
natives of modern Egypt, who employ it without the faintest 
knowledge of the imperial ruler, their ancestor, whose name is 
perpetuated in it. 

Amenhotep III was very fond of hunting, and when his scouts 
brought him word that a herd of wild cattle had appeared among 
the hills bordering the Delta, he would leave the palace at Memphis 
in the evening, sail north all night and reach the herd in the early 
morning. On one occasion there were no less than one hundred 
and seventy wild cattle in the enclosure, into which his beaters 
had driven them. Entering it in his chariot the king himself slew 
fifty-six of the savage beasts on the first day, to which number, 
after four days interval of rest, he added probably twenty more at 
a second onslaught. Amenhotep thought the achievement worthy 
of commemoration and issued a series of scarabs bearing a record 
of the feat. When the chase-loving king had completed ten years 
of lion-hunting he distributed to the nobles of the court a similar 




memorial of his prowess, which, after the usual royal titulary of 
himself and his queen, bore the words: ‘Statement of lions which 
his majesty brought down with his own arrows from the year one 
to the year ten: fierce lions, iol' Some thirty or forty of these 
scarabs of the lion-hunt still survive. 

It will be seen that in these things a new and modern ten- 
dency was maturing. The divine Pharaoh was constantly being 
exhibited in human relations, and the affairs of the royal house 
were made public property. This is nowhere clearer than in the 
emperor’s marriage. While still crown prince, or at least early in 
his reign, he married a remarkable woman of low birth, named 
Tiy. The evidence usually cited to prove her of foreign birth is 
doubtful, and the remains of the bodies of her parents disclose 
them to be Egyptians. The criticisms of this marriage were met 
by the young Pharaoh with unflinching boldness. He issued a 
large number of scarabs, carved in stone and engraved with a 
record of the marriage, in which the untitled parentage of his 
queen frankly follows her name in the royal titulary itself, 
which declares her to be the queen-consort. But the record closes 
with the words: ‘She is the wife of a mighty king whose southern 
boundary is as far as Karoy and northern as far as Naharin.’ 
Recalling the vast extent of his sovereignty from the Sudan to 
the Upper Euphrates, the emperor thus bade any who might 
reflect upon the humble origin of the queen to remember the 
exalted station which she now occupied. From the beginning the 
new queen exerted a powerful influence over Amenhotep, and he 
immediately inserted her name in the official caption placed at 
the head of royal documents. Her power continued throughout 
his reign, and was the beginning of a remarkable era characterized 
by the prominence of the queens in state affairs and on public 
occasions, a peculiarity which we find only under Amenhotep III 
and his immediate successors. The name of the queen, therefore, 
not even a woman of royal birth, thus constantly appearing at the 
head of official documents side by side with that of the Pharaoh, 
was a frequent reminder of the more human and less exalted 
relations into which the sovereign had now entered. In constant 
intercourse with the nations of Asia he was likewise gradually 
forced from his old superhuman state, suited only to the Nile, 
into less provincial and more modern relations with his neighbours 
of Babylon and Mitanni, who in their letters called him ‘brother.’ 
This lion-hunting, bull-baiting Pharaoh, who had made a woman 
of lowly birth his queen, was far indeed from the godlike and 
unapproachable immobility of his divine ancestors. It was as if 


the emperor of China or the Dalai Lama of Tibet were all at once 
to make his personal doings known on a series of medals. Whether 
consciously or not, the Pharaoh had assumed a modern standpoint, 
which must inevitably lead to sharp conflict with the almost 
irresistible inertia of tradition in an oriental country. 

Meantime all went well; the lines of the coming internal 
struggle were not yet clearly drawn, and of the first signs of 
trouble from without Amenhotep was unconscious. A veritable 
‘Caesar divus’ he presided over the magnificence of Thebes. In 
the thirtieth year of his reign he celebrated his first royal jubilee, 
and we have a record of his third jubilee in the year thirty-six. 
On this occasion the old monarch was still able to grant the court 
an audience and receive their congratulations. But ominous signs 
of trouble had by this time appeared on the northern horizon. 
Mitanni had been invaded by the Hittites, but Tushratta, the 
Mitannian king, had been able to repel them, and sent to Amen- 
hotep a chariot and pair, besides two slaves, as a present from 
the booty which the Hittites had left in his hands. The provinces 
of Egypt in northern Syria had not been spared. The Hittites 
had invaded Katna in the Orontes valley, and carried off the 
image of Amon-Re, with the name of Amenhotep on it. Nukh- 
ashshi, which perhaps lay farther north, suffered a similar invasion. 
See pp. 262, 301. 

All this was not without the connivance of treacherous vassals 
of the Pharaoh, who were themselves attempting the conquest 
of territory on their own account. The afterward notorious 
Aziru and his father, Abd-Ashirta, were leaders in the movement, 
entering Katna and Nukhashshi from the south and plundering 
as they went. Others who had made common cause with them 
threatened Ubi, the region of Damascus. Aki-izzi of Katna and 
Rib-Addi of Byblus quickly reported the defection of the Pharaoh’s 
vassals. The situation was far more critical than it appeared to 
the Pharaoh, for he had no means of recognizing the seriousness 
of the Hittite advance. Amenhotep, therefore, instead of marching 
with his entire army immediately into north Syria, as Thutmose 
III would have done, sent troops only. These of course had no 
trouble in momentarily quelling the turbulent dynasts and putting 
a brief stop to their aggressions against the loyal vassals; but they 
were quite unable to cope with the southern advance of the 
Hittites, who secured a footing in northern Naharin, of the greatest 
value in their further plans for the conquest of Syria. Furthermore, 
the king’s long absence from Syria was telling upon Egyptian 
prestige there, and another threatening danger to his Asiatic 



[chap. V, n 

possessions is stated to have begun from the day when the king 
had last left Sidon. An invasion of Habiru (Khabiru), perhaps 
desert Semites, such as had from time to time inundated Syria 
and Palestine from time immemorial, was now taking place. It 
was of such proportions that it may fairly be called an immigra- 
tion. Before Amenhotep Ill’s death it had become threatening, 
and thus Rib-Addi of Byblus later wrote to Amenhotep Ill’s son : 
‘Since thy father returned from Sidon, since that time, the lands 
have fallen into the hands of the Habiru.’ See further, p. 123. 

Under such threatening conditions as these the old Pharaoh, 
whom we may well call ‘Amenhotep the Magnificent,’ drew near 
his end. His brother of Mitanni, with whom he was still on terms 
of intimacy, probably knowing of his age and weakness, sent the 
image of Ishtar of Nineveh for the second time to Egypt, doubt- 
less in the hope that the far-famed goddess might be able to 
exorcise the evil spirits which were causing Amenhotep’s infirmity 
and restore the old king to health. But all such means were of no 
avail, and about 1375 b.c., after nearly thirty-six years upon the 
throne, ‘Amenhotep the Magnificent’ passed away and was 
buried with the other empercrs, his fathers, in the Valley of the 
Kings’ Tombs. 




A MENHOTEP IV, the young and inexperienced son of 
_ Amenhotep III and the queen Tiy, inherited a difficult 
situation. The conflict of new forces with tradition was, as we 
have seen, already felt by his father. The task before him was 
so to manipulate these conflicting forces as eventually to give 
reasonable play to the new and modern tendency, but at the 
same time to conserve enough of the old to prevent a catastrophe. 
It was a problem of practical statesmanship, but Amenhotep IV 
saw it chiefly in its ideal aspects. His mother, Tiy, and his 
queen, Nofretete, perhaps a woman of Asiatic birth, and a 
favourite priest, Eye, the husband of his nurse, formed his 
immediate circle. The first two probably exercised a powerful 
influence over him, and were given a prominent share in the 
government, at least as far as its public manifestations were con- 
cerned: for, in a manner quite surpassing his father’s similar 
tendency, he constantly appeared in public with both his mother 
and his wife. The lofty though impracticable aims which he had 
in view must have found a ready response in these his two most 
influential counsellors. Thus, while Egypt was in sore need of a 
vigorous and skilled administrator, the young king was in close 
counsel with a priest and two perhaps gifted women, who, how- 
ever able, were not of the fibre to show the new Pharaoh what 
the empire really demanded. Instead of gathering the army so 
sadly needed in Naharin, as Thutmose III would have done, 
Amenhotep IV immersed himself heart and soul in the thought 
of the time, and the philosophizing theology of the priests was 
of more importance to him than all the provinces of Asia. In such 
contemplations he gradually developed ideals and purposes which 
make him the most remarkable of all the Pharaohs, and, we may 
even say, the first individual in human history. 

The profound influence of Egypt’s imperial position had not 
been limited to the externals of life, to the manners and customs 
of the people, to the rich and prolific art, pregnant with new 


possibilities of beauty, but had extended likewise to thought and 
religion. In the Old Kingdom the Sun-god was conceived as a 
Pharaoh, whose kingdom was Egypt. With the expansion of the 
Egyptian kingdom into a world-empire it was inevitable that the 
domain of the god should likewise expand. As the kingdom had 
long since found expression in religion, so now the empire was a 
powerful influence upon religious thought. This is evident in the 
remark of a great military leader like Thutmose III regarding 
his god (Amon) : ‘He seeth the whole earth hourly.’ If this was 
true it was because the sword of the Pharaoh had carried the 
power of Egypt’s god to the limits of Egypt’s empire. 

While this was a more or less mechanical and unconscious 
process, it was accompanied by an intellectual awakening which 
shook the old Egyptian traditions to the foundations and set the 
men of the age to thinking in a larger world. Of what stuff 
Thutmose III was made we have already seen (p. 87). The idea 
of universal power, of a world-empire, was visibly and tangibly 
bodied forth in his career. The first human personality of world- 
wide aspects was sure to affect men’s ideas of divine personality. 
There is a touch of universalism now discernible in the theology of 
the empire: it is directly due to such impressions as Thutmose III 
and his successors made. Egypt was forced out of the immemorial 
isolation of her narrow valley into world-relations, with which the 
theology of the time must reckon — relations with which the Sun- 
god was inextricably involved. Commercial connections, main- 
tained from an immemorially remote past, had resulted in the 
Middle Kingdom in a literature of adventure in far-off' countries, 
as illustrated by such tales as the Shipwrecked Sailor or the Story 
of Sinuhe (vol. 1, p. 348), but such knowledge of distant lands had 
done little toward bringing the great world without into the purview 
of Egyptian religious thinking. The limits of the dominion of the 
Egyptian gods had been fixed as the outer fringes of the Nile 
valley long before the outside world was familiar to the Nile- 
dwellers; and merely commercial intercourse with a larger world 
had not been able to shake the tradition. Many a merchant had 
seen a stone fall in distant Babylon and in Thebes alike, but it 
had not occurred to him, or to any man in that far-off' age, that 
the same natural force reigned in these widely separated countries. 
Many a merchant of that day, too, had seen the sun rise behind 
the Babylonian ziggurats, as it did among the clustered obelisks 
of Thebes; but the thought of the age had. not yet come to terms 
with such far-reaching facts as these. It was universalism expressed 
in terms of imperial power which first caught the imagination of 
the thinking men of the empire, and disclosed to them the 


universal sweep of the Sun-god’s dominion as a physical fact. In 
the Ancient East monotheism was but imperialism in religion. 
-Already under Amenhotep III an old name for the material sun, 
‘Aton,’ had come into prominent use, where the name of the 
Sun-god might have been expected. Thus, he called the royal 
barge on which he sailed with Tiy on her beautiful lake, ‘Aton 
gleams,’ and a company of his body-guard bore the new god’s 
name. He appended to his own name the epithet, ‘ dawning like 
Aton,’ or even called himself ‘the shining Aton.’ A cult of the 
newly named Sun-god had really been inaugurated and there was 
probably a chapel dedicated to him at Heliopolis. Now and 
again he had even been designated as ‘the sole god’ by Amen- 
hotep Ill’s contemporaries. 

Amenhotep IV was soon closely associated with the new ideas. 
Like some other rulers of his line, he had been crowned in 
Hermonthis, known as the ‘Upper Egyptian Heliopolis,’ where 
the Solar theology was strong, and a brother of his mother was 
high-priest there. Early in his reign we find him there engaged 
in the worship of Aton, in a temple of the god, of which he may 
have been the builder. He made no attempt to conceal the 
identity of the new deity with the old Sun-god, Re. He assumed 
the office of high-priest of Aton with the same title, ‘Great Seer,’ 
as that of the high-priest of Re at Heliopolis. But, however 
evident the Heliopolitan origin of the new state-religion might 
be, it was not merely Sun-worship; the word Aton was employed 
in place of the old word for ‘god’ ( neter ), and the god was 
evidently conceived to be far more than the merely material sun. 
The king was evidently deifying the light or the vital heat which 
he found accompanying all life. It plays an important part similar 
to that which we find it assuming in the early cosmogonic 
philosophies of the Greeks. Thence, as we might expect, the 
god is stated to be everywhere active by means of his ‘rays.’ In 
his age of the world it is perfectly certain that the king could not 
have had the vaguest notion of the physico-chemical aspects of 
his assumption, any more than had the early Greeks in dealing 
with a similar thought; yet the fundamental idea is surprisingly 
true, and, as we shall see, marvellously fruitful. 

The most ancient symbol of the Sun-god was a pyramid, and, 
as a falcon, the figure of that bird was also used to designate him. 
These, however, were intelligible only in Egypt, and Amenhotep 
IV had a wider arena in view. The new symbol depicted the sun as a 
disk from which diverging beams radiated downward . , each ray 
terminating in a human hand. It was a masterly symbol , suggesting a 
power issuing from its celestial source , and putting its hand upon the 



world and the affairs of men. As far back as the Pyramid Texts 
the rays of the Sun-god had been likened to his arms and had 
been conceived as an agency on earth. The outward symbol of his 
god thus broke sharply with tradition; but it was capable of 
practical introduction in the many different countries making up 
the empire, and could be understood at a glance by any intelligent 
foreigner, which was far from the case with any of the traditional 
symbols of Egyptian religion. To indicate the imperial power of 
Aton, Amenhotep IV now enclosed the god’s full name, as already 
introduced by his father, in two royal cartouches, suggesting for 
the god an earthly dominion like that of the Pharaoh. 

His zeal for the new cult was evident from the beginning. 
He sent an expedition to the sandstone quarries of Silsileh to 
secure the great shaft for an obelisk to be erected in Amen- 
hotep Ill’s Karnak temple of Aton, and the chief nobles of his 
court were in charge of the works at the quarry. Thebes was 
now called ‘City of the Brightness of Aton,’ and the temple- 
quarter, ‘Brightness of Aton the Great’; while the Aton sanctuary 
itself bore the name of ‘ Gem-Aton,’ a term of uncertain meaning. 
Although the other gods were still 'tolerated as of old, it was 
nevertheless inevitable that the priesthood of Amon should view 
with growing jealousy the brilliant rise of a strange god in their 
midst, an artificial creation of which they knew nothing, save 
that much of the wealth formerly employed in the enrichment of 
Amon’s sanctuary was now lavished on the intruder. The priest- 
hood of Amon was now a rich and influential body, and the high- 
priest of Amon was also the supreme head of the organization 
including all the priests of the nation, besides sometimes holding 
the chief treasurership of the empire, or even the office of grand 
vizier. The Amonite priesthood had installed Thutmose III as 
king; and could they have supplanted with one of their own tools 
the young dreamer who now held the throne, they would of course 
have done so at the first opportunity. But Amenhotep IV pos- 
sessed unlimited personal force of character, and he was moreover 
the son of a line of rulers too strong and too illustrious to be thus 
set aside, even by the most powerful priesthood in the land. A 
bitter conflict ensued, in which the issue was sharply drawn 
between Aton and the old gods. It rendered Thebes intolerable 
to the young king. He decided to break with the priesthoods and 
to make Aton the sole god, not merely in his own thought, but 
in very fact. As far as their external and material manifestations 
and equipment were concerned, the annihilation of the old gods 
could be and was accomplished without delay. The priesthoods, 


including that of Amon, were dispossessed, the official temple- 
worship of the various gods throughout the land ceased, and their 
names were erased wherever they could be found upon the 

The persecution of Amon was especially severe. The cemetery 
of Thebes was visited and in the tombs of the ancestors the hated 
name of Amon was hammered out wherever it appeared upon the 
stone. The rows on rows of statues of the great nobles of the old 
and glorious days of the empire, ranged along the walls of the 
Karnak temple, were not spared, and the god’s name was invari- 
ably erased. Stone-cutters climbed to the tops of Hatshepsut’s 
lofty obelisks and cut out the name of Amon to the very apex. 
The royal statues of his ancestors, including even the king’s 
father, were not respected; and, what was worse, as the name of 
that father, Amenhotep, contained the name of Amon, the young 
king was placed in the unpleasant predicament of being obliged 
to cut out his own father’s name in order to prevent the name of 
Amon from appearing ‘writ large’ on all the temples of Thebes. 
Even the private living apartments of Amenhotep III in his 
splendid Theban palace at modern Medinet Habu were invaded, 
and the king’s name erased in the sumptuous wall decorations. 
Frequently the word ‘gods’ was not permitted to remain on the 
old monuments; and the walls of the temples at Thebes were 
painfully searched in order that the compromising word might be 
blotted out (see p. 206). And then there was the embarrassment 
of the king’s own name, likewise Amenhotep, meaning ‘Amon 
rests’ or ‘is satisfied,’ which could not be spoken or placed on a 
monument. It was of necessity also banished and the king assumed 
in its place the name ‘Ikhnaton,’ which means ‘Aton is satisfied,’ 
or ‘ He in whom Aton is satisfied.’ 

This terrible revolution, violating all that was dearest and most 
sacred in Egyptian life, must have been a devastating experience for 
the youthful king, perhaps not yet nineteen at this time 1 . Thebes 

1 In view of the supposed youth of this extraordinary king, attention 
has very appropriately been called to the remarkable career of El-Hakim 
ibn-‘Az!z (a.d. 996—1021), who began to rule at Cairo as a lad of eleven. 
He exerted a great influence in religious conflicts between Shiites and 
Sunnites and issued extraordinary heretical decrees when only sixteen years 
of age (Moller, Z. -deg., lvi (1920), p. 100 sq.). On the other hand, Sethe 
has offered very cogent reasons for rejecting the identification of the alleged 
body of Ikhnaton found in his coffin as certainly that of our heretical 
Pharaoh (‘Beitrage zur Geschichte Amenophis IV,’ N achrichten der Gesell. 
der Wiss. 2 \u Gottingen, Phil.-hist. Klasse, 1921, Heft 2, pp. 122-130). 
Sethe believes the king was at least 25 to 26 years old at his accession. 






had become an impossible place of residence. In his father’s palace, 
which he doubtless occupied, he found unsightly gaps in the lovely 
wall decorations where once his father’s cartouche had stood. As 
he looked across the city he saw stretching along the western plain 
that imposing line of mortuary temples of his fathers which he 
had violated. They now stood silent and empty. The towering 
pylons and obelisks of Karnak and Luxor were not a welcome 
reminder of all that his fathers had contributed to the glory of 
Amon, and the unfinished hall of his father at Luxor, with the 
superb columns of the nave, still waiting for the roof, could 
hardly have stirred pleasant memories in the heart of the young 
reformer. A doubtless long contemplated plan was therefore 
undertaken. Aton, the god of the empire, should possess his own 
city in each of the three great divisions of the empire: Egypt, 
Asia and Nubia, and the god’s Egyptian city should be made the 
royal residence. It must have been an enterprise requiring some 
time, but the three cities were duly founded. The Aton-city of 
Nubia was located on the east side of the river somewhere in the 
vicinity of the third cataract, and was thus in the heart of the 
Egyptian province. It was named ‘Gem- Aton’ after the Aton- 
temple in Thebes. In Syria the Aton-city is unknown, but 
Ikhnaton will not have done less for Aton there than his fathers 
had done for Amon 1 . 

In the sixth year of his reign, and shortly after he had changed 
his name, the king was living in his own Aton-city in Egypt. He 
chose as its site a fine and spacious bay in the cliffs about one 
hundred and sixty miles above the Delta and nearly three hundred 
miles below Thebes. He called it Akhetaton, ‘ Horizon of Aton’ — 
it is known in modern times as Tell el-Amarna. In addition to the 
town, which was about a mile wide and some four miles long, the 
territory around it was demarked as a domain belonging to the 
god, and included the plain on both sides of the river. In the 
cliffs on either side, fourteen large stelae, one of them no less 
than twenty-six feet in height, were cut into the rock, bearing 
inscriptions determining the limits of the entire sacred district 
around the city. As thus laid out the district was about eight 

1 The Aton-city in Syria may have been in existence under Amenhotep 
III. The effort of Borchardt ( M.D.O.G. , No. 57, March, 1917) to prove 
that Akhetaton (Amarna) had been founded as far back as Thutmose IV, 
and to shift the origins and the essentials of the Aton movement to the 
predecessors of Amenhotep IV, thus depriving him of all historical signi- 
ficance, has been completely refuted by Schaefer ( Z . Jeg., iv, 1918, 
pp. 1—43). See also below, p. 205. 


miles wide from north to south, and from twelve to over seventeen 
miles long from cliff to cliff. The region thus demarked was then 
legally conveyed to Aton by the king’s own decree, saying: ‘Now 
as for the area within the... landmarks from the eastern mountain 
(cliffs) to the western mountain of Akhetaton opposite, it belongs 
to my father, Aton, who is given life forever and ever: whether 
mountains or cliffs, or swamps... or uplands, or fields, or waters, 
or towns, or shores, or people, or cattle, or trees, or anything 
which Aton, my father, has made — I have conveyed it to Aton, 
my father, forever and ever.’ 

The city thus established was to be the real capital of the 
empire, for the king himself said: ‘The whole land shall come 
hither, for the beautiful seat of Akhetaton shall be another seat 
(capital), and I will give them audience whether they be north or 
south or west or east.’ The royal architect, Bek, was sent to the 
first cataract to procure stone for the new temple, or we should 
rather say temples, for no less than three were now built in the 
new city, one for the queen-mother, Tiy, and another for the 
princess Beketaton (‘Maidservant of Aton’), besides the state- 
temple of the king himself. Around the temples rose the palace 
of the king and the chateaux of his nobles, one of whom describes 
the city thus: ‘Akhetaton, great in loveliness, mistress of pleasant 
ceremonies, rich in possessions, the offerings of Re in her midst. 
At the sight of her beauty there is rejoicing. She is lovely and 
beautiful; when one sees her it is like a glimpse of heaven. Her 
number cannot be calculated. When the Aton rises in her he 
fills her with his rays, and he embraces (with his rays) his beloved 
son, son of eternity, who came forth from Aton and offers the 
earth to him who placed him on his throne, causing the earth to 
belong to him who made him.’ 

It becomes more and more evident that all that was devised 
and done in the new city and in the propagation of the Aton faith 
bears the stamp of Ikhnaton’s individuality. A king who did not 
hesitate to erase his own father’s name on the monuments in 
order to destroy Amon, the great foe of his revolutionary move- 
ment, was not one to stop halfway; and the men about him, in 
spite of his youth, must have been irresistibly swayed by the 
young Pharaoh’s unbending will. But Ikhnaton understood 
enough of the old policy of the Pharaohs to know that he must 
hold his party by practical rewards, and the leading partisans of 
his movement^ like Merire, enjoyed liberal bounty at his hands. 
Thus one of his priests of Aton, and at the same time his master 
of the royal horse, named Eye, who had by good fortune happened 


to marry the nurse of the king, renders this very evident in such 
statements as the following: ‘He doubles to me my favours in 
silver and gold’; or again, addressing the king, ‘How prosperous 
is he who hears thy teaching of life! He is satisfied with seeing 
thee without ceasing.’ The general of the army, Mai, enjoyed 
similar bounty, boasting of it in the same way: ‘He hath doubled 
to me my favours like the numbers of the sand. I am the head of 
the officials, at the head of the people; my lord has advanced me 
because I have carried out his teaching, and I hear his word 
without ceasing. My eyes behold thy beauty every day, O my lord, 
wise like Aton, satisfied with truth. How prosperous is he who 
hears thy teaching of life!’ Although there must have been a 
nucleus of men who really appreciated the ideal aspects of the 
king’s teaching, it is thus evident that many were not uninflu- 
enced by ‘the loaves and the fishes.’ 

Among such royal favours there was one which no Egyptian 
noble could fail to welcome. This was the beautiful cliff-tomb 
which the king commanded his craftsmen to hew out of the 
eastern cliffs for each one of his favourites. The old mortuary 
practices were not all suppressed by Ikhnaton, and it was still 
necessary for a man to be buried in the ‘eternal house,’ with its 
endowment for the support of the deceased in the hereafter. But 
that eternal house was no longer disfigured with hideous demons 
and grotesque monsters which should confront the dead in the 
future life; and the magic paraphernalia necessary to meet and 
vanquish the dark powers of the nether world, which filled the 
tombs of the old order at Thebes, were completely banished. 
The tomb now became a monument to the deceased; the walls of 
its chapel bore fresh and natural pictures from the life of the 
people in Akhetaton, particularly the incidents in the official 
career of the dead man, and preferably his intercourse with the 
king. Thus the city of Akhetaton is now better known to us from 
its cemetery than from its ruins. 

Throughout these tombs the nobles take delight in reiterating, 
both in relief and inscription, the intimate relation between Aton 
and the king. Over and over again they show the king and the 
queen standing together under the disk of Amon, whose rays, 
terminating in hands, descend and embrace the king. The vulture- 
goddess, Mut, who, since the hoary age of the Thinites had 
appeared on all the monuments extending her protecting wings 
over the Pharaoh’s head, had long since been banished. The 
nobles constantly pray to the god for the king, saying that he 
‘came forth from thy rays,’ or ‘thou hast formed him out of thine 


VI, i] 


own rays’; and interspersed through their prayers were numerous 
current phrases of the Aton faith, which had now become con- 
ventional, replacing those of the old orthodox religion, which it 
must have been very awkward for them to cease using. Thus they 
demonstrated how zealous they had been in accepting and 
appropriating the king’s new teaching. On state occasions, instead 
of the old stock phrases, with innumerable references to the 
traditional gods, every noble who would enjoy the king’s favour 
was evidently obliged to show his familiarity with the Aton faith 
and the king’s position in it by a liberal use of these allusions. 
The source of such phrases was really the king himself, as we 
have before intimated, and something of the ‘teaching’ whence 
they were taken, so often attributed to him, is preserved in the 
tombs to which we have referred. 

Of all the monuments left by this unparalleled revolution, the 
Aton hymns are by far the most remarkable; and from them we 
may gather an intimation of Ikhnaton’s beliefs. Two hymns to 
Aton, both of which the nobles had engraved on the walls of 
their tomb chapels, were probably written by the king; and the 
longer and finer of the two is worthy of being known in modern 
literature. The titles of the separate strophes are the addition of 
the present writer, and in the translation no attempt has been 
made to do more than to furnish an accurate rendering. It will 
be observed that Psalm civ shows a notable similarity to our 
hymn both in the thought and the sequence (see vv. 20—23, 
16-18, 25-27, 24, 19, 2, 5). 


When thou settest in the western horizon of the sky. 
The earth is in darkness like the dead 5 
They sleep in their chambers. 

Their heads are wrapped up. 

Their nostrils are stopped. 

And none seeth the other. 

While all their things are stolen. 

Which are under their heads. 

And they know it not. 

Every lion cometh forth from his den, 

All serpents, they sting. 

Darkness. . . . 

The world is in silence, 

He that made them resteth in his horizon. 





Bright Is the earth when thou risest in the horizon. 

When thou shinest as Aton by day 
Thou drivest away the darkness. 

When thou sendest forth thy rays. 

The Two Lands (Egypt) are in daily festivity. 

Awake and standing upon their feet 
When thou hast raised them up. 

Their limbs bathed, they take their clothing, 

Their arms uplifted in adoration to thy dawning 
(Then) in all the world they do their work. 


All cattle rest upon their pasturage, 

The trees and the plants flourish, 

The birds flutter in their marshes, 

Their wings uplifted in adoration to thee. 

All the sheep dance upon their feet, 

All winged things fly, 

They live when thou hast shone upon them. 


The barques sail up-stream and down-stream alike. 

Every highway is open because thou dawnest 
The fish in the river leap up before thee. 

Thy rays are in the midst of the great green sea. 


Creator of the germ in woman. 

Maker of seed in man. 

Giving life to the son in the body of his mother. 

Soothing him that he may not weep. 

Nurse (even) in the womb. 

Giver of breath to animate every one that he maketh ! 

When he cometh forth from the womb... on the day of his birth. 
Thou openest his mouth in speech, 

Thou suppliest his necessities. 


When the fledgling in the egg chirps in the shell, 

Thou givest him breath therein to preserve him alive. 

When thou hast brought him together (?) 

To (the point of) bursting it in the egg, 

He cometh forth from the egg 
To chirp with all his might (?). 

He goeth about upon his two feet 
When he hath come forth therefrom. 



How manifold are thy works! 

They are hidden from before (us), 

O sole God, whose powers no other possesseth. 

Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart 
While thou wast alone: 

Men, all cattle, large and small, 

All that are upon the earth, 

That go about upon their feet; 

(All) that are on high, 

That fly with their wings. 

The foreign countries, Syria and Kush, 

The land of Egypt, 

Thou settest every man into his place, 

Thou suppliest their necessities. 

Every one has his possessions, 

And his days are reckoned. 

The tongues are divers in speech, 

Their forms likewise and their skins are distinguished. 

(For) thou makest different the strangers. 

This royal hymn, of which the above lines are a part, doubtless 
represents an excerpt, or a series of fragments excerpted, from 
the ritual of Aton, as it was celebrated from day to day in the 
Aton temple at Amarna. Unhappily, it was copied in the cemetery 
in but one tomb. The other tombs were likewise supplied with 
their devotional inscriptions, from the current paragraphs and 
stock phrases which made up the knowledge of the new faith as 
understood by the scribes and painters who decorated these 
tombs. It should not be forgotten, therefore, that the fragments 
of the Aton faith which have survived to us in the Amarna 
cemetery, our chief source, have thus filtered mechanically through 
the indifferent hands and the starved and listless minds of a few 
petty bureaucrats on the outskirts of a great religious and intel- 
lectual movement. Nevertheless in this great hymn the uni- 
versalism of the empire finds full expression and the royal singer 
sweeps his eye from the far-off cataracts of the Nubian Nile to 
the remotest lands of Syria. It is clear that he is projecting a 
world-religion and endeavouring to displace by it the nationalism 
which had preceded it for twenty centuries. He bases the uni- 
versal sway of God upon his fatherly care of all men alike, irre- 
spective of race or nationality, and he calls Aton ‘the father and 
the mother of all that he had made.’ To the proud and exclusive 
Egyptian he points to the all-embracing bounty of the common 
father of humanity, even placing Syria and Nubia before Egypt 
in his enumeration. 




Ikhnaton thus grasped the idea of a world-lord, as the creator 
of nature; but the king likewise saw revealed the creator’s 
beneficent purpose for all his creatures, even the meanest. He 
discerned in some measure the goodness of the All-Father as did 
He who bade us consider the lilies. The picture of the lily-grown 
marshes, where the flowers are ‘drunken’ in the intoxicating 
radiance of Aton, where the birds unfold their wings and lift 
them ‘in adoration of the living Aton,’ where the cattle dance 
with delight in the sunshine, and the fish in the river beyond leap 
up to greet the light, the universal light whose beams are even 
‘ in the midst of the great green sea ’ — all this discloses a discern- 
ment of the presence of God in nature, and an appreciation of 
the revelation of God in the visible world such as we find centuries 
later in the Hebrew psalms, and in our own poets of nature since 

While Ikhnaton recognized clearly the power, and especially 
the beneficence of God, it may be due to the accidents of pre- 
servation that our surviving sources for the Aton faith do not 
disclose a very spiritual conception of the deity nor any attribu- 
tion to him of ethical qualities beyond those which Re had long 
been supposed to possess. Our sources do not show us that the 
king had perceptibly risen from a discernment of the beneficence 
to a conception of the righteousness in the character of God, 
nor for His demand for this in the character of men. Never- 
theless, there is in Ikhnaton’s ‘teaching,’ as it is fragmentarily 
preserved in the hymns and tomb-inscriptions of his nobles, a con- 
stant emphasis upon ‘ truth ’ such as is not found before or since. 
The king always attaches to his name the phrase ‘living In 
truth,’ and that this phrase was not meaningless is evident in 
his daily life (cf. p. 399). To him it meant acceptance of the daily 
facts of living in a simple and unconventional manner. For him 
what was was right, and its propriety was evident by its very 
existence. Thus, his family life was open and unconcealed before 
the people. He took the greatest delight in his children, and 
appeared with them and the queen, their mother, on all possible 
occasions, as if he had been but the humblest scribe in' the Aton- 
temple. He had himself depicted on the monuments while enjoy- 
ing the most familiar and unaffected intercourse with his family, 
and whenever he appeared in the temple to offer sacrifice the 
queen and the daughters she had borne him participated in the 
service. All that was natural was to him true, and he never failed 
practically to exemplify this belief, however radically he was 
obliged to disregard tradition. See p. 41 1 sq. 



VI, Ii] 

The art of the age was unavoidably affected by this extra- 
ordinary revolution, and the king’s interest in the new art is 
evident. Bek, his chief sculptor, appended to his title the words, 
‘whom his majesty himself taught.’ Thus, the artists of his court 
were taught to make the chisel and the brush tell the story of 
what they actually saw. The result was a simple and beautiful 
realism that saw more clearly than any art had ever seen before. 
They caught the instantaneous postures of animal life: the 
coursing hound, the fleeing game, the wild bull leaping in the 
swamp; for all these belonged to the ‘truth,’ in which Ikhnaton 
lived. The king’s person, as we have indicated, was no exception 
to the law of the new art; the artists represented Ikhnaton as they 
saw him. The monuments of Egypt bore what they had never 
borne before, a Pharaoh depicted in the natural and unaffected 
relations of life, not frozen in the conventional posture demanded 
by the traditions of court propriety. 

This unparalleled revolution in art has now been unexpectedly 
revealed to us in all its wondrous beauty and freedom by the 
extraordinary works of the artist-craftsman preserved in the tomb 
of Tutenkhamon. Of the finest pieces found among this sumptu- 
ous furniture of Ikhnaton’s son-in-law several were made at 
Amarna, and were carried back thence by Tutenkhamon to 
Thebes on his return thither. See further, pp. 415 sqq. 


Wholly absorbed in the exalted religion to which he had given 
his life, stemming the tide of tradition that was daily as strong 
against him as at first, this young revolutionary of twenty-five 
was beset with too many enterprises and responsibilities of a 
totally different nature, to give much attention to the affairs of 
the empire abroad. Indeed, as we shall see, he probably did not 
realize the necessity of doing so until it was far too late. On his 
accession his sovereignty in Asia had immediately been recognized 
by the Hittites and the powers of the Euphrates valley. Tushratta 
of Mitanni wrote to the queen-mother, Tiy, requesting her 
influence with the new king for a continuance of the old friend- 
ship which he had enjoyed with Ikhnaton’s father, and to the 
young king he wrote a letter of condolence on the death of his 
father, Amenhotep III, not forgetting to add the usual requests for 
plentiful gold. Burraburiash of Babylon sent similar assurances of 
sympathy, and a son of his later sojourned at Ikhnaton’s court and 


married a daughter of the latter, and her Babylonian father-in-law 
sent her a noble necklace of over a thousand gems. But such 
intercourse did not last. 

The advance of the Hittites across the Syrian frontiers of the 
Egyptian empire, already threatening in Amenhotep Ill’s time, 
had now created a serious situation in Asia. The leading group 
of these remarkable peoples of Asia Minor, who still form one of 
the greatest problems in the study of the early Orient, had now 
coalesced into a powerful empire with which the Egyptians had 
first come into contact under Thutmose III, who called the new 
power ‘Great Kheta,’ as perhaps distinguished from the less 
important independent Hittite peoples (see chap. xi). We shall 
use the word Hittite to designate this empire of Great Kheta. 
When Ikhnaton ascended the throne, Seplel (cuneiform, Shub- 
biluliuma), the king of the Hittites, wrote him a letter of con- 
gratulation, and to all appearances had only the friendliest 
intentions toward Egypt. For the first invasions of the most 
advanced Hittites, like that which Tushratta of Mitanni repulsed, 
he may indeed not have been responsible. Even after Ikhnaton’s 
removal to Akhetaton, his new capital, some Hittite embassy 
appeared there with gifts and greetings; and the tomb of Merire 
provides us with the first Egyptian representation of Hittites. 
But Ikhnaton must have regarded the old relations as no longer 
desirable, for the Hittite king asks him why he has ceased the 
correspondence which his father had maintained. If he realized 
the situation, the Pharaoh had good reason indeed for abandoning 
the connection; for the Hittite empire now stood on the northern 
threshold of Syria, the greatest power in Asia, and the most 
formidable enemy which had ever confronted Egypt. 

At this juncture Egypt lost her staunchest friend and supporter 
on the upper Euphrates, the kingdom of Mitanni, whose rulers 
had been close relatives of the Egyptian sovereigns since the 
reign of Ikhnaton’s grandfather. Tushratta, the reigning king of 
Mitanni, was suddenly slain by one of his own sons, and a ruinous 
civil war followed. Taking advantage of Mitanni’s internal weak- 
ness, Shubbiluliuma, who had long been fighting with Tushratta, 
gave his daughter in marriage to Tushratta’s son Mattiuaza, and 
then forced Mitanni to accept his new son-in-law as king. 
Mitanni, Egypt’s northern ally, was thus suddenly shifted to the 
Hittite side in the international struggle in western Asia. Among 
the Pharaoh’s Asiatic vassals, likewise, the situation had meantime 
gone from bad to worse. Immediately on Ikhnaton’s accession 
the disaffected dynasts, who had been temporarily suppressed by 


his father, resumed their operations against the faithful vassals of 
Egypt. The exact sequence of events is not clear. With the 
co-operation of the unfaithful Egyptian vassals Abd-Ashirta and 
his son Aziru, who were at the head of an Amorite kingdom on 
the upper Orontes, together with Itakama, a Syrian prince who 
had been conquered by the Hittites and who had seized Kadesh 
as his kingdom, the Hittites took possession of Amki, the plain 
on the north side of the lower Orontes, between Antioch and the 
Amanus. Three faithful vassal kings of the vicinity marched to 
recover the Pharaoh’s lost territory for him, but were met by 
Itakama at the head of Hittite troops and driven back. All three 
wrote immediately to the Pharaoh of the trouble and complained 
of Itakama. Aziru of Amor had meantime advanced upon the 
Phoenician and north Syrian coast cities, which he captured as 
far as Ugarit at the mouth of the Orontes, slaying their kings 
and appropriating their wealth. Simyra and Byblus held out, 
however, and, as the Hittites advanced into Nukhashshi, on the 
lower Orontes, Aziru co-operated with them and captured Niy, 
whose king he slew. Tunip was now in such grave danger that 
her elders wrote the Pharaoh a pathetic letter beseeching his 
protection (pp. 83, 308). 

Meanwhile, Rib- Addi, a faithful vassal of Byblus, where there 
was an Egyptian temple, writes to the Pharaoh the most urgent 
appeals, stating what is going on, and asking for help to drive 
away Aziru’s people from Simyra, knowing full well that, if it 
falls, his own city of Byblus is likewise doomed. But no help 
comes. Several Egyptian deputies have been charged with the 
investigation of affairs at Simyra, but they did not succeed in 
doing anything, and the city finally fell. Aziru had no hesitation 
in slaying the Egyptian deputy resident in the place, and having 
destroyed it, was now free to move against Byblus. Rib-Addi 
wrote in horror of these facts to the Pharaoh, stating that the 
Egyptian deputy, resident in Kumidi in northern Palestine, was 
now in danger. But the wily Aziru so used his friends at court 
that he escaped. With Machiavellian skill and cynicism, he 
explains in letters to the Pharaoh that he is unable to come and 
give an account of himself at the Egyptian court, as he had been 
commanded to do, because the Hittites are in Nukhashshi, and 
he fears that Tunip will not be strong enough to resist them! 
Fortunately the letter from the elders of Tunip shows what they 
thought about his presence in Nukhashshi. To the Pharaoh’s 
demand that he immediately rebuild Simyra, which he had 
destroyed (as he claimed, to prevent it from falling into the hands 


of the Hittites), he replies that he is too hard pressed in defending 
the king’s cities in Nukhashshi against the Hittites; but that he 
will do so within a year. Ikhnaton is reassured by Aziru’s promises 
to pay the same tribute as that paid by the cities which he has 
taken. Such acknowledgment of Egyptian suzerainty by the 
turbulent dynasts everywhere must have left in the Pharaoh a 
feeling of security which the situation by no means justified. He 
therefore wrote Aziru granting him the year which he had asked 
for before he appeared at court, but Aziru contrived to evade 
Khani, the Egyptian bearer of the king’s letter, which was thus 
brought back to Egypt without being delivered. It shows the 
astonishing leniency of Ikhnaton in a manner which w T ould 
indicate that he was opposed to measures of force such as his 
fathers had employed. Aziru immediately wrote to the king 
expressing his regret that an expedition against the Hittites in the 
north had deprived him of the pleasure of meeting the Pharaoh’s 
envoy, in spite of the fact that he had made all haste homeward as 
soon as he had heard of his coming (p. 307 sq.). The claims of the 
hostile dynasts were so skilfully made that the resident Egyptian 
deputies actually did not seem to know who were the faithful 
vassals and who the secretly rebellious. In particular, a large 
collection of letters from Rib-Addi to Egypt throw astonishing 
light upon the network of intrigue and the difficulty of distin- 
guishing friend from foe. See pp. 303 sqq. 

In the south, where the movement of the Habiru (Aramaean 
Semites ?) may be compared with that of the Hittites in the north, 
similar conditions evidently prevailed. Knots of their warriors 
were now appearing everywhere and taking service as mercenary 
troops under the dynasts. Under various adventurers tjte Habiru 
were frequently the real masters, and Palestinian cities like 
Megiddo, Askalon and Gezer wrote to the Pharaoh for succour 
against them. The last-named city, together with Askalon and 
Lachish, united against Abdi-Khiba, the pro-Egyptian dynast 
in Jerusalem, already at this time an important stronghold of 
southern Palestine; and the faithful officer sent urgent dispatches 
to Ikhnaton explaining the danger and appealing for aid against 
the Habiru and their leaders. Abdi-Khiba was well acquainted 
with Ikhnaton’s cuneiform scribe, and he adds to several of his 
dispatches a postscript addressed to his friend in which the urgent 
sincerity of the man is evident: ‘To the scribe of my lord, the 
king, Abdi-Khiba thy servant. Bring these words plainly before 
my lord the king: “The whole land of my lord, the king, is 
going to ruin”.’ See p. 317. 



VI, it] 

Fleeing in terror before the Habiru, who burned the towns and 
kid waste the fields, many of the Palestinians forsook their towns 
and took to the hills, or sought refuge in Egypt, where (as we 
learn from Egyptian sources) the Egyptian officer in charge of 
some of them said of them: ‘They have been destroyed and their 
town laid waste, and fire has been thrown (into their grain?) — 
Their countries are starving, they live like goats of the mountain. 
...A few of the Asiatics, who knew not how they should live, 
have come (begging a home in the domain ?) of Pharaoh, after 
the manner of your father’s fathers since the beginning.... Now 
the Pharaoh gives them into your hand to protect their borders.’ 
The task of those to whom the last words are addressed was 
hopeless. Both in Syria and Palestine the provinces of the Pharaoh 
had gradually passed entirely out of Egyptian control, and in the 
south a state of complete anarchy had resulted, in which the 
hopeless Egyptian party at last gave up any attempt to maintain 
the authority of the Pharaoh, and those who had not perished 
joined the enemy. The caravans of Burraburiash of Babylonia 
were plundered by the king of Accho and a neighbouring con- 
federate, and Burraburiash wrote peremptorily demanding that 
the loss be made good and the guilty punished, lest his trade with 
Egypt become a constant prey of such marauding dynasts. But 
what he feared had come to pass, and the Egyptian empire in 
Asia was for the time at an end. 

At Akhetaton, the new and beautiful capital, the splendid 
temple of Aton resounded with hymns to the new god of the 
empire, while the empire itself was no more. The tribute of 
Ikhnaton’s twelfth year was received at Akhetaton as usual, and 
the king, borne in his gorgeous palanquin on the shoulders of 
eighteen soldiers, went forth to receive it in state. The habit of 
generations, and a fast vanishing apprehension lest the Pharaoh 
might appear in Syria with his army, still prompted a few 
sporadic letters from the dynasts, assuring him of their loyalty, 
which perhaps continued in the mind of Ikhnaton the illusion 
that he was still lord of Asia. The storm which had broken over 
his Asiatic empire was not more disastrous than that which 
threatened the fortunes of his house in Egypt. But he was stead- 
fast as before in the propagation of his new faith. At his command 
temples of Aton had now arisen all over the land. He devoted 
himself to the elaboration of the temple ritual and the tendency 
to theologize somewhat dimmed the earlier freshness of the hymns 
to the god. 

Meanwhile, the national convulsion which his revolution had 




precipitated was producing the most disastrous consequences 
throughout the land. The Aton faith disregarded some of the 
most cherished beliefs of the people, especially those regarding 
the hereafter. Osiris, their old time protector and friend in the 
world of darkness, was banished from the tomb, and the magical 
paraphernalia which was to protect them from a thousand foes 
was gone. Some of them tried to put Aton into their old usages; 
but he was not a folk-god who lived out in yonder tree or spring, 
and he was too far from their homely round of daily needs to 
touch their lives. The people could understand nothing of the 
refinements involved in the new faith. They only knew that the 
worship of the old gods had been interdicted, and a strange deity 
of whom they had no knowledge and could gain none was forced 
upon them. Such a decree of the state could have had no more 
effect upon their practical worship in the end than did that of 
Theodosius when he banished the old gods of Egypt in favour of 
Christianity, eighteen hundred years after Ikhnaton’s revolution. 
Long after the death of Theodosius the old so-called pagan 
gods continued to be worshipped by the people in U pper Egypt; 
for in the course of such attempted changes in the customs 
and traditional faith of a whole people, the span of one man’s life 
is insignificant indeed. The Aton-faith remained but the cherished 
theory of the idealist, Ikhnaton, and a little court-circle ; it never 
really became the religion of the people (see p. 207). 

Added to the secret resentment and opposition of the people, 
we must consider also far more dangerous forces. During all of 
Ikhnaton’s reign a powerful priestly party, openly or secretly, did 
all in its power to undermine him. Among the army and its 
leaders, the neglect and loss of the Asiatic empire must have 
turned against the king many a strong man, and aroused indigna- 
tion among those whose grandfathers had served under Thutmose 
III. The memory of what had been done in those glorious days 
must have been sufficiently strong to fire the hearts of the military 
class and set them looking for a leader who would recover what 
had been lost. Ikhnaton might appoint one of his favourites to 
the command of the army, but his ideal aims and his high motives 
for peace would be as unpopular as they were unintelligible to 
his commanders. One such man, an officer named Harmhab, had 
now been long in the service of Ikhnaton and enjoying the royal 
favour; he contrived not only to win the support of the military 
class, but he also gained the favour of the priests of Amon, who 
were of course looking for some one who could bring them the 
opportunity they coveted. Thus, both the people and the priestly 


and military classes alike were fomenting plans to overthrow the 
hated dreamer in the palace of the Pharaohs, of whose thoughts 
they understood so little. 

To increase Ikhnaton’s danger, fortune had decreed him no 
son, and he was obliged to depend for support, as the years passed, 
upon his son-in-law, a noble named Sakere, who had married his 
eldest daughter, Meritaton, ‘Beloved of Atom’ Ikhnaton had 
probably never been physically strong; his spare face, with the 
lines of an ascetic, shows increasing traces of the cares which 
weighed so heavily upon him. He finally nominated Sakere as 
his successor and appointed him at the same time co-regent. He 
survived but a short time after this, and about 1358 b.c., having 
reached his seventeenth regnal year, he succumbed to the over- 
whelming forces that were against him. In a lonely valley some 
miles to the east of his city he was buried in a tomb which he had 
excavated in the rock for himself and family, and where his 
second daughter, Meketaton, already rested. His coffin was 
eventually carried by his friends to Thebes, where it was found 
by modern excavation in the tomb of his mother, Queen Tiy. 
Elliot Smith’s examination of the skeleton, for such the body 
found in his coffin now is, has shown it to be that of a man less 
than thirty years of age at his death 1 . And he had reigned at 
least sixteen years! 

Thus disappeared the most remarkable figure in earlier oriental 
history. The sumptuous inscriptions on his beautiful coffin, now 
in the Museum at Cairo, call him ‘the living Aton’s beautiful 
child who lives forever, and is true (or just, or righteous) in sky 
and earth.’ To his own nation he was afterwards known as ‘the 
criminal of Akhetaton’; but however much we may censure him 
for the loss of the empire, which he allowed to slip from his 
fingers, however much we may condemn the fanaticism with which 
he pursued his aim, even to the violation of his own father’s name 
and monuments, there died with him such a spirit as the world 
had never seen before — a brave soul, undauntedly facing the 
momentum of immemorial tradition, and thereby stepping out 
from the long line of conventional and colourless Pharaohs, that 
he might disseminate ideas far beyond and above the capacity of 
his age to understand. Among the Hebrews, seven or eight 
hundred years later, we look for such men; but the modern world 
has yet adequately to value or even acquaint itself with this man, 
who, in an age so remote and under conditions so adverse, became 
not only the world’s first idealist and the world’s first individual, 
but also the earliest monotheist, and the first prophet of inter- 

1 The identification has, however, been denied by Sethe, see p. 1 1 3, n. 


nationalism — the most remarkable figure of the Ancient World 
before the Hebrews. 

Ikhnaton’s followers had prayed that his teaching might 
endure ‘till the swan be black and the raven white, till the 
mountains rise up and move away, and water flows uphill ’ — and 
who shall say that it has not survived in modern belief? But the 
young king’s death left it politically helpless. Sakere was quite 
unequal to the task before him, and after an obscure and ephemeral 
reign at Akhetaton he disappeared, to be followed by Tutenkhaton 
(‘ Living-Image-of-Aton ’), another son-in-law of Ikhnaton, who 
had married the king’s third daughter, Enkhosnepaaton (‘She- 
lives-by-the-Aton’). Compelled to compromise, he forsook his 
father-in-law’s city and transferred the court to Thebes, which 
had not seen a Pharaoh for twenty years. For a time Akhetaton 
maintained a precarious existence, and the manufacturies of 
coloured glass and faience which had flourished there during the 
reign of Ikhnaton soon languished. Then the place was gradually 
forsaken, until not a soul was left in its solitary streets. The roofs 
of the houses fell in, the walls tottered and collapsed, the temples 
fell a prey to the vengeance of the Theban party, and the once 
beautiful city of Aton was gradually transformed into a desolate 
ruin. Known to-day as Tell el-Amarna, it still stands as time and 
the priests of Amon left it. One may walk its ancient streets, 
where the walls of the houses are still several feet high, and strive 
to recall to its forsaken dwellings the life of the Aton-worshippers 
who once inhabited them. Here in a low brick room, which had 
served as an archive-chamber for Ikhnaton’s Foreign Office, were 
found in 1887 more than three hundred and fifty cuneiform letters 
and dispatches in which we can trace his intercourse and dealings 
with the kings and rulers of Asia, and the gradual disintegration 
of his empire there. Here were the more than fifty dispatches of 
the unfortunate Rib-Addi of Byblus. After the modern name of 
the place, the whole correspondence is generally called the Tell 
el-Amarna Letters. The systematic excavation of the place has 
cleared street after street and revealed such houses as the studio 
of the royal architect Thutmose, with the finest works of 
sculpture which have survived from the revolution. All the other 
Aton-cities likewise perished utterly; but Gem-Aton in Nubia 
flourished for a thousand years, and — strange irony! — there was 
afterward a temple there to ‘Amon, lord of Gem-Aton.’ 

On reaching Thebes, Tutenkhaton was soon obliged by the 
priests of Amon to permit the resumption of Amon-worship, and 
to begin restoring the disfigured names of Amon and the other 
gods, expunged from the monuments by Ikhnaton. His restora- 


VI, n] 


tions are found as far south as Soleb in Nubia. Of this work of 
restoration Tutenkhaton left a record in which he says: ‘When 
his majesty (i.e. he himself) was crowned as king, the temples of 
the gods and goddesses were [desolatjed from Elephantine as far 

as the marshes of the Delta Their holy places were forsaken (?) 

and had become overgrown tracts... their sanctuaries were like 
that which has never been, and their houses were trodden roads. 
The land was in an evil pass, and as for the gods, they had for- 
saken this land. If people were sent to Syria to extend the borders 
of Egypt, they prospered not at all; if men prayed to a god for 
succour, he came not;... if men besought a goddess likewise, 
she came not at all.’ He was at the same time forced to change 
his name to Tutenkhamon, ‘ Living-Image-of-Amon,’ while his 
wife’s name similarly became Enkhosnamon (‘ She-lives-by- 
Amon’), showing that the new king was at last completely in 
the hands of the priestly party. The empire which he ruled was 
still no mean one, extending as it did from the Delta of the Nile 
to the fourth cataract. He even received occasional tribute from 
the north which, as his viceroy of Kush, Huy, claimed, came 
from Syria. He may thus have recovered sufficient power in 
Palestine to collect some tribute or at least some spoil, which 
fact may then have been interpreted to include Syria also. 

Tutenkhamon reigned at least six years, and it is improbable 
that he survived much longer. His name is better known than 
that of any other Pharaoh, owing to the fact that in October, 
1922, his tomb and its magnificent equipment were discovered 
almost intact — the first royal burial ever so found in Egypt 1 . It 
soon became evident that the new material furnished a surprising 
revelation of the art of that revolutionary movement in Egyptian 
life, religion and art, which reached its tragic close in the reign 
of Tutenkhamon. In this revelation lies their chief importance, 
rather than in any new and direct light on the political history of 
this troubled time. The condition of the tomb itself is an im- 
portant item of evidence on political conditions, for the indications 
are quite clear that Tutenkhamon’s tomb was robbed not long 
after his death, and this fact is a significant revelation of the 
unsafe conditions which followed his reign 2 . 

1 In the late Earl of Carnarvon’s excavations in the Valley of the Kings’ 
Tombs at Thebes, under the immediate direction of Mr Howard Carter. 
In the whole range of archaeological excavation this is the most important 
body of materials which has ever fallen to the fortunate lot of the excavator. 

2 Very important evidence on the political conditions following the 
death of Tutenkhamon is contained in the extraordinary cuneiform archives 

1 3 o EGYPT UNDER IKHNATON [chap. VI, n 

Tutenkhamon was succeeded by another of the worthies of the 
Akhetaton court, Eye, the master of horse, who had married 
Ikhnaton’s nurse, Tiy. He had laid Tutenkhamon away in his 
tomb, and one cannot but wonder how much he or his sub- 
ordinates had to do with its early robbery at a time when all the 
court and functionaries who officiated at the royal funeral still 
vividly remembered the splendour of Tutenkhamon’s burial equip- 
ment. Ere long Eye too passed away, and it would appear that one 
or two other ephemeral pretenders gained the ascendency 7, either 
now or before his accession. Anarchy ensued. Thebes was a prey 
to plundering bands, who forced their way into the royal cemetery 
and robbed the tombs of the great emperors. The prestige of the 
old Theban line which had been dominant for two hundred and 
fifty years, the illustrious family which two hundred and thirty 
years before had cast out the Hyksos and built the greatest 
empire the east had ever seen, was now totally eclipsed (1350 
b.c.). Manetho places Harmhab, the restorer who now gained 
the throne, at the close of the XVII I th Dynasty, but, so far as 
we know, he was not of royal blood nor any kin of the now fallen 
house. His accession marks the complete restoration of the old 
order and the beginning of a new epoch. 

discovered at Boghaz Keui, if we may trust the translations possible at this 
early stage of our efforts to understand the Hittite language or languages. 
One of these Hittite tablets, according to the translation of Prof. Sayce 
{Ancient Egypt , 1922, Part 111, pp. 66—7), gives an account of an embassy 
of the ‘Egyptians,’ whose ‘ruler,’ named ‘Bib-khuru-riyas’ had just died. 
Thereupon the ‘queen of Egypt,’ named ‘Dakhamun,’ sent an ambassador 
to the Hittite court and sought the hand of a Hittite prince in marriage. 
Prof. Sayce concludes that ‘Bib-khuru-riyas’ is Tutenkhamon (Nebkhep- 
rure) and that ‘Dakhamun’ is ‘the queen of Tut-onkh-amen. . . Onkh-s- 
Amen.’ He states further, ‘a form Ta-onkh-s-amen might yield Da-kh- 
amen.’ This equation between ‘Dakhamun’ and an alleged Egyptian, 
‘ Onkh-s- Amen,’ is definitely accepted as certain by Prof. Petrie {ibid. p. 70) 
in an appendix to Prof. Sayce’s article. It should be noted, however, that 
the name of Tutenkhamon’s queen contains the consonants c nfy-s-n-mn, 
which may be approximately vocalized as Enkhos-en-Amon, and that the 
form discussed by Prof. Sayce and Prof. Petrie omits the consonant n (the 
preposition ‘by’ or ‘through’). The ‘Ta’ which this identification proposes 
to prefix to the name of the queen is presumably the feminine article. It is 
quite inconceivable that the proposition (‘She-lives-by-Amon’), forming the 
name of the queen, could receive the article, nor does any such form ever 
appear on the monuments. In view of these difficulties and of the still 
undeveloped stage of our understanding of Hittite it would seem the better 
part of caution to employ this Hittite cuneiform document with reserve. 




I N the service of Ikhnaton, as we have already noticed, there 
had been an able organizer and skilful man of affairs quite 
after the manner of Thutmose III. Harmhab, as he was called, 
belonged to an old family once monarchs of Alabastronpolis. He 
had been entrusted with important missions and had served the 
royal house with distinction. A man of popularity with the army, 
he had won also the support of the priesthood of Amon at 
Thebes. Eventually his power and influence were such that, in 
the troublous times under Ikhnaton’s feeble successors, it was 
only necessary for him to proceed to Thebes to be recognized as 
the ruling Pharaoh. The energy which had brought him his 
exalted office was immediately evident in his administration of it. 
He was untiring in restoring to the land the orderly organization 
which it had once enjoyed. After remaining at least two months 
at Thebes adjusting his affairs there, he sailed for the north to 
continue this work. ‘His majesty sailed down stream. ...He 
organized this land, he adjusted it according to the time of Re’ 
(i.e. as when the Sun-god was Pharaoh). At the same time he did 
not forget the temples, which had been so long closed under the 
Aton regime. ‘He restored the temples from the pools of the 
Delta marshes to Nubia. He shaped all their images in number 
more than before, increasing the beauty in that which he made. 
...Fie raised up their temples; he fashioned a hundred images 
with all their bodies correct and with all splendid costly stones. 
He sought the precincts of the gods which were in the districts 
in this land; he furnished them as they had been since the time 
of the first beginning. He established for them daily offerings 
every day. All the vessels of their temples were wrought of silver 
and gold. He equipped them with priests and with ritual priests 
and with the choicest of the army. He transferred to them lands 
and cattle, supplied with all equipment.’ Among other works of 
this kind he set up a statue of himself and his queen in the temple 
of Horus of Alabastronpolis on which he frankly recorded the 
manner in which he had gradually risen from the rank of a simple 
official of the king to the throne of the Pharaohs. 





Thus Amon received again his old endowments and the 
incomes of all the disinherited temples were restored. The people 
resumed in public the worship of all the innumerable gods which 
they had practised in secret during the supremacy of Aton. The 
sculptors of the king were sent throughout the land continuing 
the restoration begun by Tutenkhamon, reinserting on the monu- 
ments defaced by Ikhnaton the names of the gods whom he had 
dishonoured and erased. At Thebes Harmhab razed to the ground 
the temple of Aton and used the materials for building two pylons, 
extending the temple of Amon on the south; and the materials 
which he left unused were employed in similar works by his suc- 
cessors. In the ruined pylons of Amon at Karnak to-day one may 
pick out the blocks which formed the sanctuary of Aton, still 
bearing the royal names of the despised Aton-worshippers. 
Everywhere the name of the hated Ikhnaton was treated as he 
had those of the gods. At Akhetaton his tomb was wrecked and 
its reliefs chiselled out; while the tombs of his nobles there were 
violated in the same way. Every effort was made to annihilate all 
trace of the reign of such a man; and when in legal procedure it 
was necessary to cite documents or enactments from his reign he 
was designated as ‘that criminal of Akhetaton.’ The triumph of 
Amon was thus complete; as the royal favourites of Ikhnaton 
had once sung the good fortune of the disciples of Aton, so now 
Harmhab’s courtiers recognized clearly the change in the wind 
of fortune, and they sang : ‘ How bountiful are the possessions of 
him who know the gifts of that god (Amon), the king of gods. 
Wise is he who knows him, favoured is he who serves him, there 
is protection for him who follows him.’ The priest of Amon, 
Neferhotep, who uttered these words, was at the moment receiving 
the richest tokens of the king’s favour. Such men exulted in the 
overthrow of Amon’s enemies: ‘Woe to him who assails thee! 
Thy city endures but he who assails thee is overthrown. Fie upon 
him who sins against thee in any land.... The sun of him who 
knew thee not has set, but he who knows thee shines. The sanc- 
tuary of him who assailed thee is overwhelmed in darkness, but 
the whole earth is in light.’ 

There were other directions in which the restoration of what 
Harmhab regarded as normal conditions was not so easy. Gross 
laxity in the supervision of the local administration had character- 
ized the reign of Ikhnaton and his successors; and those abuses 
which always arise under such conditions in the Orient had grown 
to excess. Everywhere the local officials, long secure from close 
inspection on the part of the central government, had revelled in 


VII, i] 

I 33 

extortions, practised upon the long-suffering masses, until the 
fiscal and administrative system was honey-combed with bribery 
and corruption of all sorts. To ameliorate these conditions 
Harmhab first informed himself thoroughly as to the extent and 
character of the evils, and then in his private chamber he dictated 
to his personal scribe a remarkable series of highly specialized 
laws to suit every case of which he had learned. They were all 
directed against the practice of extortion from the poor by fiscal 
and administrative officials. The penalties were severe. A tax- 
collector found guilty of dealing thus with the poor man was 
sentenced to have his nose cut off, followed by banishment to 
Tharu, the desolate frontier city far out in the sands of the 
Arabian desert toward Asia. The troops used in administration 
and stationed in the north and south were accustomed to steal 
the hides of the Pharaoh’s loan-herds from the peasants responsible 
for them. ‘They went out from house to house, beating and 
plundering without leaving a hide.’ In every such demonstrable 
case the new law enacted that the peasant should not be held 
responsible for the hides by the Pharaoh’s overseer of cattle. The 
guilty soldier was severely dealt with: ‘As for any citizen of the 
army concerning whom one shall hear, saying: “he goeth about 
stealing hides”; beginning with this day the law shall be executed 
against him by beating with a hundred blows, opening five wounds, 
and taking away the hides which he took.’ 

One of the greatest difficulties connected with the discovery 
of such local misgovernment was collusion with the local officials 
by inspecting officers sent out by the central government. The 
corrupt superiors, for a share in the plunder, would overlook the 
very extortions which they had been sent on journeys of inspection 
to discover and prevent. This evil had been rooted out in the 
days of the aggressive Thutmose III, but it was now rampant 
again, and Harmhab apparently revived the methods of Thutmose 
III for controlling it. In the introduction and application of the 
new laws Harmhab went personally from end to end of the 
kingdom. At the same time he improved the opportunity to look 
for fitting men with whom he could lodge the responsibility for 
an efficient administration of justice. In order to discourage 
bribery among the local judges he took an unprecedented step. 
He remitted the tax of gold and silver levied upon all local 
officials for judicial duties, permitting them to retain the entire 
income of their offices, in order that they might have no excuse 
for illegally enriching themselves. But he went still further; while 
organizing the local courts throughout the land he passed a most 

1 34 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

stringent law against the acceptance of any bribe by a member of 
a local court or ‘council’; ‘Nov/, as for any official or any priest 
concerning whom it shall be heard, saying: “He sits to execute 
judgment among the council appointed for judgment and he 
commits a crime against justice therein”; it shall be counted 
against him as a capital crime. Behold my majesty has done this 
to improve the laws of Egypt.’ In order to keep his executive 
officials in close touch with himself, as well as to lift them above 
all necessity of accepting any income from a corrupt source, 
Harmhab had them provided for with great liberality. They went 
out on inspection several times a month, and on these occasions, 
either just before their departure or immediately after their 
return, the king gave them a sumptuous feast in the palace court, 
appearing himself upon the balcony, addressing each man by 
name and throwing down gifts among them. These sane and 
philanthropic reforms give Harmhab a high place in the history 
of humane government; especially when we remember that, even 
since the occupation of the country by the English, the evils at 
which he struck have been found exceedingly persistent and 
difficult to root out. 

If Harmhab had any ambition to leave a reputation as a con- 
queror, the times were against him. His accession fell at a time 
when all his powers and all his great ability were necessarily 
employed exclusively in reorganizing the kingdom after the long 
period of unparalleled laxity which preceded him. He performed 
his task with a strength and skill not less than were required for 
great conquest abroad; while at the same time he showed a spirit 
of humane solicitude for the amelioration of the conditions among 
the masses, which has never been surpassed in Egypt, from his 
time until the present day. Although a soldier, with all the qualities 
which that calling implies in the Ancient East, yet, when he became 
king, he could truly say: ‘Behold his majesty spent the whole 
time seeking the welfare of Egypt.’ A list of names of foreign 
countries on the wall near his great code of laws contains the 
conventional enumeration of conquests abroad, which are prob- 
ably not to be taken very seriously; the name of the Hittites 
appears among them, but later conditions show that he could 
have accomplished no effective retrenchment of their power in 
Syria. On the contrary, we should possibly place in his reign the 
treaty of alliance and friendship, referred to by Ramses II some 
fifty years later, as having existed before. Harmhab therefore 
seems to have enjoyed a long and peaceful reign. In the days of 
Ramses II the reigns of Ikhnaton and the other Aton- worshippers 


had apparently been added to Harmhab’s reign, increasing it by 
twenty-five years or more, so that a lawsuit of the former’s time 
refers to events of the ‘fifty-ninth year’ of Harmhab. He therefore 
probably reigned some thirty-five years. 

Whether or not Harmhab succeeded in founding a dynasty we 
do not know. It is impossible to discover any certain connection 
between him and Ramses I, who now (1315 b.c.) succeeded him. 
Seemingly too old to accomplish anything, it was, nevertheless, 
this aged king who planned and began the vast colonnaded hall, 
the famous hypostyle of Karnak, afterwards continued and com- 
pleted by his successors. In his second year he found the new 
responsibility beyond his strength and he associated as co-regent 
with himself his son Seti I, then probably about thirty years old. 

Within a year after the establishment of the co-regency the old 
king died (1314 b.c.). Seti I must have already laid all his plans 
and organized his army in readiness for an attempt to recover 
the lost empire of Asia. The information which Seti I now received 
as to the state of the country betrays a condition of affairs quite 
such as we should expect would have resulted from the tendency 
already evident in the letters of Abdi-Khiba of Jerusalem to 
Ikhnaton. They showed us the Bedouins of the neighbouring 
desert pressing into Palestine and taking possession of the towns, 
whether in the service of the turbulent dynasts or on their own 
responsibility. These letters were corroborated by Egyptian 
monuments, portraying the panic-striken Palestinians fleeing into 
Egypt before their foes. Seti I’s messengers now brought him 
information of the very same character regarding the Bedouins. 
They reported: ‘Their tribal chiefs are in coalition and they are 
gaining a foothold in Palestine; they have taken to cursing and 
quarrelling, each of them slaying his neighbour, and they dis- 
regard the laws of the palace.’ It was among these desert invaders 
that, as some authorities think, the movement of the Hebrews 
took place which resulted in the settlement of Palestine. 

Seti was able to march out from Tharu in his first year, and as 
he reached the frontier of Canaan — the name applied by the 
Egyptians to all western Palestine and Syria — he captured a 
walled town, which marked the northern limit of the struggle with 
the Bedouins. Thence he pushed rapidly northward, capturing 
the towns of the plain of Megiddo (Jezreel), pushing eastward 
across the valley of the Jordan and erecting his tablet of victory 
in the Hauran, and westward to the southern slopes of Lebanon, 
where he took the forest-girt city of Yenoam, once the property 
of the temple of Amon, after its capture by Thutmose III, nearly 

1 36 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

one hundred and fifty years before. The neighbouring dynasts of 
the Lebanon immediately came to him and offered their allegiance. 
They had not seen a Pharaoh at the head of his army in Asia for 
over fifty years — not since Amenhotep III had left Sidon; and 
Seti immediately put them to the test by requiring a liberal 
contribution of cedar logs. In Seti’s Karnak reliefs we see the 
subjects of the Lebanon felling these logs in his presence, and he 
was able to send them to Egypt by water from the harbours which, 
like his great predecessor, Thutmose III, he was now subduing. 
Having thus secured at least the southern Phoenician coast and 
restored the water-route between Syria and Egypt for future 
operations, Seti returned to Egypt. 

The return of a victorious Pharaoh from conquest in Asia, so 
common in the days of the great conquerors, was now a spectacle 
which few living Egyptians had seen. At Tharu outside the gate 
of the frontier fortress beside the bridge over the fresh-water 
canal, which already connected the Nile with the Bitter Lakes of 
the Isthmus of Suez, the leading men of Seti’s government gathered 
in a rejoicing group, and as the weary lines toiled up in the dust 
of the long desert march, with the Pharaoh at their head, driving 
before his chariot-horses the captive dynasts of Palestine and 
Syria, the nobles broke out in acclamation. At Thebes there was 
festive presentation of prisoners and spoil before Amon, such as 
had been common enough in the days of the empire, but which 
the Thebans had not witnessed for fifty years or more. This 
campaign seems to have been sufficient to restore southern 
Palestine to the kingdom of the Pharaoh, and probably also most 
of northern Palestine. 

The western border of the Delta, from the earliest times open 
to Libyan invasion, was always a more or less uncertain frontier. 
Seti spent his entire next year, the second of his reign, in the 
Delta, and it is very probable that he carried on operations against 
the Libyans in that year. In any case, we next find him in Galilee, 
storming the walled city of Kadesh, which must not be confused 
with Kadesh on the Orontes. Here the Amorite kingdom founded 
by Abd-Ashirta and Aziru (p. 123) formed a kind of buffer 
state; and to it belonged the Galilean Kadesh, lying between 
Palestine on the south and the southern Hittite frontier in the 
Orontes valley on the north. It was necessary for Seti to subdue 
this intermediate kingdom before he could come to blows with 
the Hittites lying behind it. After harrying its territory and prob- 
ably taking Kadesh, Seti pushed northward against the Hittites. 
Their king, Shubbiluliuma (Egyptian Seplel), who had entered 


VII, i] 


into treaty relations with Egypt toward the close of the XVIIIth 
Dynasty, was now long dead; his son, Murshil (Egyptian 
Merasar) was probably ruling in his stead. Somewhere in the 
Orontes valley Seti came into contact with them, and the first 
battle between the Hittites and a Pharaoh occurred. Of the char- 
acter and magnitude of the action we know nothing; we have 
only a battle-relief showing Seti in full career charging the enemy 
in his chariot. It is, however, not probable that he met the main 
army of the Hittites; certain it is that he did not shake their 
power in Syria; Kadesh on the Orontes and all Syria north of 
Palestine remained in their hands, just as they had conquered it 
at the close of the XVIIIth Dynasty. At most, Seti could not 
have accomplished more than drive back their extreme advance, 
thus preventing them from absorbing any more territory on 
the south or pushing southward into Palestine. He returned 
to Thebes for another triumph, driving his Hittite prisoners 
before him, and presenting them, with the spoil, to the god of the 
empire, Amon of Karnak. The boundary which he had established 
in Asia roughly coincided inland with the northern limits of 
Palestine, and must have included also Tyre and the Phoenician 
coast south of the mouth of the Litany. Though much increasing 
the territory of Egypt in Asia, it represented but a small third of 
what she had once conquered there. Under these circumstances 
it would have been quite natural for Seti to continue the war in 
Syria. For some reason, however, he did not, so far as we know, 
ever appear with his forces in Asia again. He may have perceived 
the changed conditions and understood that the methods which 
had built up the empire of Thutmose III could no longer apply 
with a power of the first rank like that of the Hittites already 
occupying Syria. He therefore, either at this time or later, 
negotiated a treaty of peace with the Hittite king, probably 
Mutallu (Egyptian Metella), who had succeeded his father, 

At home Seti still found much to do in merely restoring the 
disfigured monuments of his ancestors surviving from the Aton 
revolution, which he did with characteristic piety. All the larger 
monuments of the XVIIIth Dynasty from the Nubian temple of 
Amada on the south to Bubastis on the north, bear records of his 
restoration. At all the great sanctuaries of the old gods his build- 
ings were now rising on a scale unprecedented in the palmiest 
days of the empire — a fact which shows that the income, even of 
the reduced empire of Seti I, reaching from the fourth cataract of 
the Nile to the sources of the Jordan, was still sufficient to support 

138 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

enterprises of imperial scope. He continued the vast colonnaded 
hall at Karnak planned and begun by his father. It surpassed in 
size even the enormous unfinished hypostyle of Amenhotep III 
at Luxor. On the outside of the north wall his sculptors engraved 
a colossal series of reliefs portraying his campaigns. Mounting 
from the base to the coping they cover the entire wall, over two 
hundred feet in length. Similar works existed in the XVIIIth 
Dynasty temples, but they have all perished, and Seti’s battle- 
reliefs therefore form the most imposing work of the kind now 
surviving in Egypt. The great hall which it was to adorn was 
never finished by him, and it was left to his successors to com- 
plete it. Like his fathers of the XVIIIth Dynasty, he erected a 
large mortuary temple on the western plain of Thebes. It was 
located at the northern end of the line of similar sanctuaries left 
by the earlier kings, and as Seti’s father had died too soon to 
construct any such temple, it was also dedicated to him. This 
temple, now known as that of Kurna, was likewise left incomplete 
by Seti. At Abydos he built a magnificent sanctuary dedicated to 
the great gods of the empire, the Osirian triad and himself. 
Although this temple has lost the first and second pylons, its 
sculptures make it perhaps the noblest monument of Egyptian 
art still surviving in the land. A temple at Memphis, probably 
another at Heliopolis, with doubtless others in the Delta of which 
we know nothing, and in Nubia an enormous cliff-temple at Abu 
Simbel, left incomplete and afterward finished by his son, 
Ramses II, completed the series of Seti’s greater buildings. The 
remarkable art, especially the sculpture and painting, preserved 
in these and other monuments of Seti’s reign show clear evidences 
of the influence of Ikhnaton’s Amarna school of art. Indeed the 
artistic works of Seti’s time are hardly thinkable without the 
influence of the Amarna age. 

These works drew heavily on his treasury, and when he reached 
the point of permanently endowing the mortuary service of the 
Abydos temple, he found it necessary to seek additional sources 
of income. He therefore turned his attention to the possible 
resources and found that the supply of gold from the mountains 
of the Red Sea region in the district of Gebel Zebara was seriously 
restricted by lack of water along the desert route. At the main 
station, some thirty-seven miles east of Edfu, a well was dug under 
his own superintendence, yielding a plentiful supply of water. In 
all probability other stations farther out on the same route were 
erected. Then Seti established the income from the mines thus 
reached as a permanent endowment for his temple at Abydos, 


and called down terrifying curses on any posterity who should 
violate his enactments. Yet within a year after his death they had 
ceased to be effective and had to be renewed by his son. In a 
similar effort to replenish his treasury from gold mines farther 
south in the Wadi Alaki, Seti dug a well two hundred feet deep 
on the road leading south-east from Kubban, but he failed to 
reach water, and the attempt to increase the gold-supply from 
this region was evidently unsuccessful. 

Seti I seems to have spent his energies chiefly upon his ex- 
tensive buildings, and beyond his ninth year we know practically 
nothing of his reign. He did not forget the excavation of a vast 
tomb for himself in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, exceeded 
in the length of its gallery only by that of Hatshepsut. It is of 
complicated construction and descends into the mountain through 
a series of galleries and extensive halls no less than four hundred 
and seventy feet in oblique depth. The king’s later years were 
disturbed by a conflict between his eldest son and the latter’s 
younger brother, Ramses, over the succession. Ramses, born to 
Seti by one of his queens named Tuya, was plotting to supplant 
his eldest brother, and during their father’s last days laid his 
plans so effectively that he was ready for a successful coup at the 
old king’s death. Some time before his approaching jubilee, while 
the obelisks for it were still unfinished, Seti died (about 1292 
B.c.), having reigned over twenty years since his own father’s 
death. He was laid to rest in a sumptuous sarcophagus of alabaster 
in the splendid tomb which he had excavated in the western 
valley. Preserved by happy accident, the body, like many others 
of the Pharaohs whom we have seen, shows him to have been one 
of the stateliest figures that ever sat upon the throne of Egypt. 


Whether the elder brother gained the throne long enough to 
have his figure inserted in his father’s reliefs, where we now find 
traces of it, or whether his influence as crown prince had accom- 
plished this, we cannot tell. In any case Ramses brushed him 
aside without a moment’s hesitation and seized the throne. The 
only public evidence of his brother’s claims — his figure inserted 
by that of Seti in the battle with the Libyans — was immediately 
erased with the inscriptions which stated his name and titles; 
while in their stead the artists of Ramses II inserted the figure of 




their new lord, with the title ‘crown prince,’ which he had never 
borne. The colour which once carefully veiled all traces of these 
alterations has now long since disappeared, disclosing the evidence 
of the bitter conflict of the two princes still discernible on the 
north wall of the Karnak hypostyle. Such was the accession of the 
famous Pharaoh, Ramses II. But the usual court devices were 
immediately resorted to, that the manner of the Pharaoh’s actual 
conquest of the throne might be forgotten. When Ramses 
addressed the court he alluded specifically to the day when his 
father had set him as a child before the nobles and proclaimed 
him the heir to the kingdom. The grandees knew too well the 
road to favour not to respond in fulsome eulogies enlarging on 
the wonderful powers of the king in his childhood and narrating 
how he had even commanded the army at ten years of age. The 
young monarch showed great vigour and high abilities, and if his 
unfortunate rival left a party to dispute his claims, no trace of 
their opposition is now discoverable. 

Hastening at once to Thebes, the seat of power, Ramses lost 
no time in making himself strong there, especially gaining the 
support of the priests of Amon. He devoted himself also with 
great zeal to pious works in memory of his father at Thebes and 
especially at Abydos, where he found his father’s magnificent 
mortuary temple in a sad state; it was without roof, the drums of 
the columns and the blocks for the half-raised walls lay scattered 
in the mire, and the whole monument, left thus unfinished by 
Seti, was fast going to destruction. He carried out his father’s 
plans and completed the temple, at the same time renewing the 
landed endowments and reorganizing the administration of its 
property to which Ramses now added herds, the tribute of fowlers 
and fishermen, a trading-ship on the Red Sea, a fleet of barges 
on the river, slaves and serfs, with priests and officials for the 
management of the temple-estate. Perhaps the heavy draughts 
upon his treasury entailed by the mortuary endowments of his 
father now moved Ramses to look for new sources of income. 
However this may be, we find him at Memphis in his third year 
consulting with his officials regarding the possibility of opening 
up the Wadi Alaki country in Nubia and developing there the 
gold mines which Seti I had unsuccessfully attempted to exploit. 
The result of the ensuing royal command was a letter from the 
viceroy of Kush announcing the complete success of the under- 
taking. Such enterprises of internal exploitation were but pre- 
paratory in the plans of Ramses. His ambition held him to 
greater purposes; and he contemplated nothing less than the 


recovery of the great Asiatic empire, conquered by his pre- 
decessors of the XVIIIth Dynasty. 

When Ramses II ascended the throne the Hittites had re- 
mained in undisputed possession of their Syrian conquests for 
probably more than twenty years, since the attempt of Seti I to 
dislodge them. The long peace had given their king, Mutallu, an 
opportunity, of which he made good use, to render their position 
in Syria impregnable. Advancing southward, up the valley of the 
Orontes, he had seized Kadesh, the centre of the Syrian power 
in the days of Thutmose III, which, we remember, had given 
him more trouble and held out with more tenacious resistance 
than any other kingdom in Syria. We have already seen the 
strategic importance of the district, an importance which was 
quickly grasped by the Hittite king, who made the place the 
bulwark of his southern frontier. Ramses’s plan for the war was 
like that of his great ancestor, Thutmose III: he proposed first 
to gain the coast, that he might use one of its harbours as a base, 
enjoying quick and easy communication with Egypt by water. 
Our sources tell us nothing of his operations on the first campaign, 
when this purpose was accomplished. We have only the evidence 
of a limestone stela cut into the face of the rock overlooking the 
Dog River a few miles north of Beirut. The monument is so 
weathered that only the name of Ramses II and the date in the 
‘year four’ can be read. It was in that year, there (1289 b.c.), 
that Ramses pushed northward along the coast of Phoenicia to 
this point. Unfortunately for Ramses, this preparatory campaign, 
however necessary, gave the Hittite king, Mutallu, an oppor- 
tunity to collect all his resources and to muster all available forces 
from every possible source 1 . All the vassal kings of his extensive 
empire were compelled to contribute their levies to his army. We 
find among them the old enemies of Egypt in Syria : the kings 
of Naharin, Arvad, Carchemish, Kode, Kadesh, Nuges (Nukh- 
ashshi ?), Ekereth (Ugarit), the unknown Mesheneth, and Aleppo. 
Besides these, Mutallu’s subject or allied kingdoms in Asia 
Minor, like Kezweden (Kissuwadna) and Pedes (Pidasa), were 
drawn upon; and, not content with the army thus collected, he 
emptied his treasury to tempt the mercenaries of Asia Minor and 
the Mediterranean islands. Roving bands of Lycian sailors, such 
as had plundered the coasts of the Levant in the XVIIIth Dynasty, 
besides Mysians, Cilicians, Dardanians, and levies of the un- 
identified Erwenet (? Oroanda north-west of Cilicia), took service 

1 The fragmentary cuneiform account from Boghaz Keui (p. 147 n.) 
would indicate that Mutallu himself was Ramses’ opponent in this battle. 




in the Hittite ranks (cf. p. 28 1). In this manner Mutallu collected 
an army more formidable than any which Egypt had ever hitherto 
been called upon to meet. In numbers it was large for those times, 
containing probably not less than twenty thousand men. 

Ramses on his part had not been less active in securing 
mercenary support. From the remote days of the Old Kingdom 
Nubian levies had been common in Egyptian service. Among the 
troops used to garrison Syria in the days of the Amarna Letters sixty 
years before, we find the ‘Sherden’ (Shardina), and, as we learn 
from a Boghaz Keui tablet, the men of Melukhkha. The Sherden 
were now taken into Ramses’ army in considerable numbers, so that 
they constituted a recognized element in it, and the king levied 
‘his infantry, his chariotry and the Sherden.’ He must have com- 
manded an army of not less than twenty thousand men all told, 
although the proportion of mercenaries is unknown to us, nor is 
it known what proportion of his force was chariotry, as compared 
with the infantry. He divided these troops into four divisions, 
each named after one of the great gods: Amon, Re, Ptah and 
Sutekh; and himself took personal command of the division of 
Amon. In the spring of his fifth year (1288 b.c.), when the rains 
of Syria had ceased, Ramses appeared with his army in the valley 
of the upper Orontes between the two Lebanons, overlooking the 
vast plain in which lay Kadesh, only a day’s march distant, with 
its battlements probably visible on the northern horizon, toward 
which the Orontes wound its way across the plain. Putting him- 
self at the head of the division of Amon, early in the day Ramses 
left the other divisions to follow after while he set out down the 
last slope of the high valley (the Beka ) to the ford of the Orontes 
at Shabtuna, later known to the Hebrews as Riblah. Here the 
river left the precipitous, canon-like wadi in which it had hitherto 
flowed, and for the first time permitted a crossing to the west side 
on which Kadesh was, thus enabling an army approaching the 
city from the south to cut off a considerable bend in the river. At 
this juncture two Bedouins of the region appeared and stated that 
they had deserted from the Hittite ranks, and that the Hittite 
king had retreated northward to the district of Aleppo, north of 
Tunip. In view of the failure of his scouting parties to find the 
enemy, and the impressions of his officers coinciding with the 
report of the Bedouins, Ramses readily believed this story, 
immediately crossed the river with the division of Amon and 
pushed rapidly on, while the divisions of Re, Ptah and Sutekh, 
marching in the order named, straggled far behind. Anxious to 
reach Kadesh and begin the siege that day, the Pharaoh even 


drew away from the division of Amon and with no van before 
him, accompanied only by his household troops, was rapidly 
nearing Kadesh as midday approached. 

Meantime Mutallu, the Hittite king, had drawn up his troops 
in battle-array on the north-west of Kadesh, and Ramses, without 
a hint of danger, was approaching the entire Hittite force, while 
the bulk of his army was scattered along the road some eight or 
ten miles in the rear, and the officers of Re and Ptah were resting 
in the shade of the neighbouring forests after the hot and dusty 
march. The crafty Hittite, seeing that the story of his two 
Bedouins, whom he had sent out for the very purpose of deceiving 
Ramses, had been implicitly accepted, improved his shrewdly 
gained opportunity to the full. He did not attack Ramses at once, 
but as the Pharaoh approached the city the Hittite quickly trans- 
ferred his entire army to the east side of the river, and while 
Ramses passed northward along the west side of Kadesh, Mutallu 
deftly dodged him, moving southward along the east side of the 
city, always keeping it between him and the Egyptians to prevent 
his troops from being seen. As he drew in on the east and south- 
east of the city he had secured a position on Ramses’ flank which 
was of itself enough to ensure him an overwhelming victory. The 
Egyptian forces were now roughly divided into two groups : near 
Kadesh were the two divisions of Amon and Re, while far south- 
ward the divisions of Ptah and Sutekh had not yet crossed at the 
ford of Shabtuna. The division of Sutekh was so far away that 
nothing more was heard of it and it took no part in the day’s 
action. Ramses himself halted on the north-west of the city, not 
far from and perhaps on the very ground occupied by the Asiatic 
army a short time before. Here he camped in the early afternoon, 
and the division of Amon, coming up shortly afterward, bivouacked 
around his tent. 

The weary troops were resting, feeding their horses and pre- 
paring their own meal, when two Asiatic spies were brought in 
by Ramses’ scouts, and taken to the royal tent. Brought before 
Ramses they confessed, after a merciless beating, that Mutallu 
and his entire army were concealed behind the city. Thoroughly 
alarmed, the young Pharaoh hastily summoned his commanders 
and officials, chided them bitterly for their inability to inform him 
of the presence of the enemy, and commanded the vizier to bring 
up the division of Ptah with all speed. His dispatch to the division 
of Ptah alone, shows that Ramses had no hope of bringing up the 
division of Sutekh, which was, as we have seen, straggling far in 
the rear above Shabtuna. At the same time it discloses his con- 

i 4 4 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

fidence that the division of Re, which had been but a few miles 
behind him at most, was within call at the gates of his camp. He 
therefore at this juncture little dreamed of the desperate situation 
into which he had been betrayed, nor of the catastrophe which at 
that very moment was overtaking the unfortunate division of 
Re. Issuing on the south side of Kadesh, the chariotry of Mutallu 
struck the division of Re on the march, broke it in two and cut 
it to pieces. Of the remnants some fled northward toward Ramses’ 
camp in a wild rout. They had at the first moment sent a mes- 
senger to inform Ramses of the catastrophe, but in so far as we 
know, the first intimation received by the Pharaoh of the appalling 
disaster which now faced him was the headlong flight of these 
fugitives of the annihilated division, among whom were two of 
his own sons. They burst into the astonished camp with the 
Hittite chariotry close upon their heels in hot pursuit. Ramses’ 
heavy infantry guard quickly dragged these intruders from their 
chariots and dispatched them; but behind these were swiftly 
massing the whole body of some twenty-five hundred Asiatic 
chariots. As they pressed in upon the Egyptian position their 
wings rapidly spread, swelled out on either hand and enfolded 
the camp. The division of Amon, weary with the long and rapid 
march, in total relaxation, without arms and without officers, was 
struck as by an avalanche when the fleeing remnants of the division 
of Re swept through the camp. Inevitably involved in the rout, 
they were carried along with it to the northward. 

The bulk of Ramses’ available force was thus in flight, his 
southern divisions were miles away and separated from him by 
the whole mass of the enemy’s chariotry. The disaster was com- 
plete. Taken thus with but short shrift, the young Pharaoh 
hesitated not a moment in attempting to cut his way out and to 
reach his southern columns. With only his household troops, his 
immediate followers and the officers, who happened to be at his 
side, he mounted his waiting chariot and boldly charged into the 
advance of the Hittite pursuit as it poured into his camp on the 
west side. He perceived at once how heavily the enemy was 
massed before him, and immediately understood that further 
onset in that direction was hopeless. Retiring into the camp 
again, he must have noted how thin was the eastern wing of the 
surrounding chariots along the river, where there had not yet 
been time for the enemy to strengthen their line. As a forlorn 
hope he charged this line with an impetuosity that hurled the 
Asiatics in his immediate front pell-mell into the river. Mutallu, 
standing on the opposite shore amid a mass of eight thousand 




MAP 3 


Accho, B 6 
Adana, B 2 
Adam (a, -11), A 7, 8 
‘Afrfn, Nahr, C 2 
‘Ak(k)a, Aku, B 6 
Alashia, A 3 
Aleppo, C 2 
Alexandretta, C 2 
Ama(u)r(a), Amiirru, B 5, C 2, 
3» 4 

Amid, B 5 
Amina? B 4, C 4 
'Anab, A 7 

el-Ansarfye, Jebel, C 3, 4 
Antioch, C 2 
Apamea, C 3 
Arad, B 7 
Aranti, C 2, 3, 4 
'Ar'ara, B 7 
Araru, B 7 
Arasa (-sly), A 3 
Aratat, B 4 
‘Arka, B 4 
Armada, B 4 
Arvad, Arwad, B 4 
Ashkelon, Askalon, A 7 
el-‘ Asi, Nahr, B 2, C 3 
‘Askalan, Ashkaluna, Askar uni, 
A 7 

As(s)er(u), B 5, 6 
Astirat(u), C 6 
Ayaluna (?), By 
Azzati, A 7 

Ba'albek, C 5 
Batrun, B 4 
Beirut, Birutu, B 5 
Biruna, B 5 
Byblus, B 4 

Cilician Taurus, A 1 
Cyprus, A 3 

Damascus, C 5 
DeadjSea, B 7 
Dimask (a), C 5 
D(o)ra., A 6 
Dunip (?), C 5 

Edrei, C 6 
Erfad, tell, C 2 

Gari, B 8 
Gasar(a), A 7 
Gasat, A 7 
Gath, A 7 
Gaza, A 7 
Gazara, A 7 
Gazri, A 7 
Gennesaret, B 6 
Gezer, A 7 
Ghazza, A 7 
Gidshi, C4 
Gimti, Ginti, A 7 
Gok-su, B 1 
Gubli, B 4 


Hamat(u), C4 
Harabu, C 2 

el-Hasi, Tell (Lachish), A 7 
Hatti, C 1-4 
Hauran, jebel, C 6 
Hebron, B 7 
Hermon, B 5 
§inatuni, B 6 
Hinianabi (?), A 7 
Homs, C 4 
. Huditi, B, 7 
el-Huleh, Bahret, B 5 

Irkata, BC 4 

Jebeil, B 4 
Jefat, B 6 
Jerusalem, B 7 
Jezer, A 7 
Jihan, B 1, 2 
Jiphtah-el (?), B 6 
Joppa, A 6 
Jordan, B 6, 7 
Jotapata, B 6 

I£adesh (on the Orontes), C 3 
Kadm(a), B 6, 7 
Kana‘an(a), the, A 5, 6, B 3, 4, 5 
Kara Su, C 2 
Karmel, Jebel, B 6 
lyatna (?), C4 * 
el-Kebir, Nahr, B 4 
el-Kebir, N., B 3, C 3 
Kedesh, C 4 
el-Kelb, Nahr, B 5 
el- Khalil, B7 
Kharu, A 7, B 6 
Khete, Land of, A 1, B 1 
Khor, A 7, B 6 
4 Khor, Great Sea of,’ A 3-5 
Kidshi, C 4 
Kinahhi, A 6, 7 
Kinsi (?), C4 
Kode (?), B3-5 
Kubli, B 4 
el-Kuds, B 7 
Kupni, B 4 

Lachish, A 7 
el-Ladikiyye, B 3 
Lakis(i), A 7 
Laodicaea, B 3, C 4 
Lapana (?), C4 
Lebanon, B 4, 5, C 4 
Lejjun, B6 
Leontes, B 5 
Libneh, C 4 
Lut, Bahr, B 7 

Magidda, Makida, B 6 
Mannus, B 2 
Mar' ash, C 1 
Marnus, B 2 
Martu, B 5, C 2-4 
Megiddo, B 6 
Nebx Mindu, tell, C 4 
Misri, A 8 

.el-Mudik, Rabat, C 3 

Naharin, C 2, 3 
Nazana (?), B 5 
Nu^ashshi, C 2 

Ono, A 6 

Orontes, B 2, C 2, 3, 4 
Otara'a, C 6 

Purasati, A 6, B 6 

Raman(a)n, B 4, 5 
Raphia, Rapeh, A 7 
Refah, tell, A 7 

Retnu (Reznu), Upper (?}, B 5, 


Sa'ar(a), B 8 
es-Safieh, tell, A 7 
Saida, B 5 
Sakema, B 6 
§amar(a), B 4 
Samaria, B 6 
Sardun(a), B6 
Sar(u), B 5 
Sauko, A 7 
Sebastlye, B 6 
Seihun, B 1 

Sety I, Monument of, C 6 
Sharufeen, Sharahan, A 
Shaua (?), Mt., B 5 
esh-Sheikh Sa‘d, C6 
Sidon, B 5 
Sidun(a), -u, B 5 
Sinsara, C 3 
Sumur, B 4 
Sur(ru), B 5 

. . ■■■: 

Tabariye, Bahr, B 6 
Tabor, B 6 
Tarsus, A 2 
Taurus, C 1 
Timashgi, Timas!?, C 5 
et-Tor, j., B6 
Tunip. See Dunip 
Tyre, B 5 

Ubi, C5 
Unq, C 2 
Urusalim, B 7 
Usu, B 5 

W f n-tree (?), backs of the, C 2 

Yafa, A 6 
Yapu, A 6 
Yar(a)dun(a), B 6, 7 
Yarpuz, C 1 
Y(a)srael, B 6 

Zahi, B 3, 4, 5 
Zakkari, A 6 
Zenjirli, C 1 
Zifuna, B 5 


! Adana 





el-Ladiffiytfe • 


Kal'at el-Muda 



Kades ' 




Armada, A mad 

y-i (Km* 

' o '°katna? I 

Tall Neb! Mindu » 
Kidsi, Gidsi, Kinsi? 

• LADD 1 QAEA : 

v 'Libneh 

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Sumur, BatrUn c 
B YB&08, Gu >li, KublUJsbeilo 



* ; ' . \ : TT 

Biruna, Birntu, Beirut •> 


’ SIDON * 

sioon, Zituna, Sidmju, Saida o 

■ ofttmaSlf, l '• 
TlmaSgi, DimaSka, 


shaua ? 

TYR£,Surru|, Sur, 

Bahret. el-Huhh 


frM- 7 / * v i '• bP 

BOnaturi! , ji phtah^l ? ' 

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LsStSr*. : 

jMakida, Magidda, 
j 1 Meqiooo 

after rzoo B.C, 
. . Zakkan, 
; D(o)ra Q ' 

, ( •Monument of Setyl. 

oOtara'a "" 
Sardun£a) . edrei 

C Sebastlye^ 


Yapu, Yafaa*~* J ® 

of **Gazri, GEZER 

Askaluna ^Ayaluna,? o, ti-Kuds 

°z£mk' J 

o I LACHISH f An$b , 

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JiAPfUA’ u J . 


Y(a)pu 0 ^j 

JOPPA °; 0 u h 




Askaruni S’ 
ashkelon® V 

> Map of 


after the 


„ of the 

igth.- 13th. century B.C ; 

Scale of Miles i 
o to 20 30 40 50 j 


1|EBftONi ! 

• Arad, 


Map of 


after the 


Scale of Miles 
O xo 20 30 40 

Vmtt- ' 1 ’ 
•aru, aroer 
G"7V _ R'T 

B Long. E. 3fr°of Greenwich £ 

liamat(u), B 6 


infantry, saw several of his officers, his personal scribe, his 
charioteer, the chief of his body-guard and finally even his own 
royal brother go down before the Pharaoh’s furious onset. Among 
many rescued from the water by their comrades on the opposite 
shore was the half-drowned king of Aleppo, who was with 
difficulty resuscitated by his troops. Again and again Ramses 
renewed the charge along the river on his east, finally producing 
serious discomfiture in the enemy’s line at this point. 

The Two Stages in the Battle of Kadesh. (Breasted.) 

At this juncture an incident common in oriental warfare saved 
the Pharaoh from total destruction. Had the mass of the Hittite 
chariotry swept in upon his rear from the west and south he must 
certainly have been lost. But to his great good fortune his camp 
had now fallen into the hands of these troops and, dismounting 
from their chariots, they had thrown discipline to the winds as 
they gave themselves up to the rich plunder. Thus engaged, they 
were suddenly fallen upon by a body of Ramses’ ‘recruits,’ rein- 
forcements of uncertain origin, who may possibly have marched 

c.a.h. ir 


146 ’ THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

in from the coast to join his army at Kadesh. In any case, they 
did not belong to either of the southern divisions. They com- 
pletely surprised the plundering Asiatics in the camp and slew 
them to a man. The sudden offensive of Ramses along the river 
and the unexpected onslaught of the ‘recruits’ must have con- 
siderably dampened the ardour of the Hittite attack, giving the 
Pharaoh an opportunity to recover himself. These newly-arrived 
‘recruits,’ together with the returning fugitives from the un- 
harmed but scattered division of Amon, so augmented his power 
that there was now a prospect of his maintaining himself until the 
arrival of the division of Ptah. The stubborn defence which 
followed forced the Hittite king to throw in his reserves of a 
thousand chariots. Six times the desperate Pharaoh charged into 
the replenished lines of the enemy, but for some reason Mutallu 
did not send against him the eight thousand foot which he had 
stationed on the east side of the river opposite Ramses’ position; 
and the struggle remained a battle of chariotry as long as we can 
trace it. For several hours, by prodigies of personal valour, the 
Pharaoh kept his scanty forces together, doubtless throwing many 
an anxious glance southward toward the road from Shabtuna, 
along which the division of Ptah was toiling in response to his 
message. Finally, as the long afternoon wore on and the sun was 
low in the west, the standards of Ptah glimmering through the 
dust and heat gladdened the eyes of the weary Pharaoh. Caught 
between the opposing lines, the Hittite chariotry was driven into 
the city, probably with considerable loss; but our sources un- 
fortunately do not permit us to follow these closing incidents of 
the battle. As evening drew on the enemy took refuge in the city 
and Ramses was saved. The prisoners taken were led before him 
while he reminded his followers that these captives had been 
brought off by himself almost single handed. 

The records describe how the scattered Egyptian fugitives 
crept back and found the plain strewn with Asiatic dead, especially 
of the personal and official circle about the Hittite king. This was 
undoubtedly true; the Asiatics must have lost heavily in Ramses’ 
camp, on the river north of the city and at the arrival of the 
division of Ptah; but Ramses’ loss was certainly far heavier than 
that of his enemies. If the Pharaoh could claim any success to 
offset the disaster he had suffered, it was his salvation from utter 
destruction, and the fact that he eventually held possession of the 
field added little practical advantage. It is commonly stated that 
Ramses captured Kadesh, but there is no such claim in any of 
his records. 


In spite of the lack of caution which cost him so dearly, Ramses 
was very proud of his exploit at Kadesh. Throughout Egypt on 
his more important buildings he commissioned his sculptors to 
depict what were to him and his fawning courtiers the most 
important incidents of the battle. On the temple walls at Abu 
Simbel, at Derr, at the Ramesseum, his mortuary temple at 
Thebes, at Luxor, at Karnak, at Abydos, and probably on other 
buildings now perished, his artists executed a vast series of 
vivacious reliefs picturing Ramses’ camp, the arrival of his 
fugitive sons, the Pharaoh’s furious charge down to the river and 
the arrival of the recruits who rescued the camp. Before Ramses’ 
chariot the plain is strewn with Asiatic dead, among whom the 
accompanying bits of explanatory description furnish the identity 
of the notable personages whom we have mentioned above. On 
the opposite shore where their comrades draw the fugitives from 
the water a tall figure held head downward that he may disgorge 
the water which he has swallowed is accompanied by the words: 
‘The wretched chief of Aleppo, turned upside down by his 
soldiers, after his majesty had hurled him into the water.’ These 
sculptures are better known to modern travellers in Egypt than 
any other like monuments in the country. There early arose also 
a prose-poem on the battle, of which we shall later have more to 
say. The ever-repeated refrain in all these records is the valiant 
stand of the young Pharaoh: ‘while he was alone, having no army 
with him.’ These sources have enabled us to trace with certainty 
the steps which led up to the battle of Kadesh, the first 
battle in history which can be so studied; and this fact must 
serve as our justification for treating it at such length 1 . We see 
that already in the thirteenth century b.c. the commanders of the 
time understood the value of clever manoeuvres masked from the 
enemy, as illustrated in the first flank movement of which we 
hear in the history of military strategy; and the plains of Syria, 
already at this remote epoch, witnessed notable examples of that 
supposed modern strategical science which was brought to such 
perfection by Napoleon — the science of winning the victory 
before the battle. 

While Ramses enjoyed the usual triumph in the state-temple, 
his return to Egypt immediately after the battle without even 
laying siege to Kadesh, after having lost nearly a whole division 
of his army, even though he had shown a brilliant defence, could 
only be destructive of Egyptian influence among the dynasts of 

1 What is evidently a Hittite version of the battle has been found among 
the tablets of Boghaz Keui. See p. 265. 

10 — i 

1 48 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

Syria and Palestine. Nor would the Hittites fail to make every 
possible use of the doubtful battle to undermine that influence 
and stir up revolt. Seti I had secured northern Palestine as 
Egyptian territory, and this region was so near the valley of the 
Orontes that the emissaries of the Hittites had little difficulty in 
exciting it to revolt. The rising spread southward to the very 
gates of Ramses’ frontier forts in the north-eastern Delta. We 
see him, therefore, far from increasing the conquests of his father, 
obliged to begin again at the very bottom to rebuild the Egyptian 
empire in Asia and recover by weary campaigns even the territory 
which his father had won. Our sources for this period are very 
scanty and the order of events is not wholly certain, but Ramses 
seems first to have attacked what was later the Philistine city of 
Askalon and taken it by storm. By his eighth year he had forced 
his way through to northern Palestine, and we then find him 
plundering the cities of western Galilee, one after another. Here 
he came again into contact with the Hittite outposts, which had 
been pushed far southward since the day of Kadesh. He found a 
Hittite garrison in the strong town of Deper, which seems to be 
the Tabor of Hebrew history; but assisted by his sons he assaulted 
and took the place, and the Hittite occupation of the region could 
have endured but a short time. It was perhaps at this time that 
he penetrated into the Hauran and the region east of the Sea of 
Galilee and left a stela there recording his visit (p. 319). Ramses 
was thus obliged to campaign for three years in the recovery of 

The Pharaoh was thereupon at liberty to resume his ambitious 
designs in Asia at the point where he had begun them four years 
earlier. Advancing again down the valley of the Orontes, he must 
finally have succeeded in dislodging the Hittites. None of the 
scanty records of the time states this fact; but as he made conquests 
far north of Kadesh that place must certainly have fallen into his 
hands. In Naharin he conquered the country as far as Tunip, 
where he gained reputation by deliberately entering battle without 
his corselet. But these places had been too long exempt from 
tribute to the Pharaoh to take kindly to his yoke. Moreover, they 
were now occupied by Hittites, who doubtless continued to 
reside there under the rule of Ramses. His lists credit him with 
having subdued Naharin, Lower Retenu (North Syria), Arvad, 
the Keftiu, and Ketne in the Orontes valley. It is thus evident 
that Ramses’ ability and tenacity as a soldier had now really 
endangered the Hittite empire in Syria, although it is very un- 
certain whether he succeeded in holding these northern conquests. 


When he had been thus campaigning probably some fifteen 
years an important event in the internal history of the Hittite 
empire brought his wars in Asia to a sudden and final end. 
Mutallu, the Hittite king, in some way met his death, and his 
brother, Hattushil, succeeded him upon the throne. Hattushil 
displayed a statesmanlike understanding of the international 
situation in Asia. He at once grasped the fact that the collapse of 
Mitanni had exposed the eastern Hittite frontier directly to the 
attacks of Assyria. The invasion of Shalmaneser I, who at this 
junction plundered Mitanni and other subject peoples of Hattu- 
shil, and brought a powerful Assyrian army for the first time to 
the Euphrates, was an event which the Hittite king quite well 
understood. While pushing old-time friendly relations with 
Babylonia, he took steps to terminate the war with Egypt and to 
substitute for it a treaty of permanent peace and alliance between 
Egypt and the Hittites. In Ramses’ twenty-first year (1272 b.c.) 
Hattushil’s messengers bearing the treaty reached the Egyptian 
court, which had been permanently shifted to the Delta. The 
treaty which they bore had of course been drafted in advance and 
accepted by representatives of the two countries, for it was now 
in its final form : eighteen paragraphs inscribed on a silver tablet, 
surmounted by a representation showing engraved or inlaid 
figures of ‘Sutekh embracing the likeness of the great chief of 
Kheta’; and of a goddess similarly embracing the figure of 
Hattushil’s queen, Putukhipa; while beside these were the seals 
of Sutekh of Kheta, Re of Ernen, as well as those of the two royal 

It bore the title: ‘The treaty which the great chief of 
Kheta, Khetasar (cuneiform Hattushil), the valiant, the son of 
Merasar (cuneiform Murshil), the great chief of Kheta, the 
valiant, the grandson of Seplel (cuneiform Shubbiluliuma), the 
great chief of Kheta, the valiant, made, upon a silver tablet for 
Usermare-Setepnere ( i.e . Ramses II), the great ruler of Egypt, 
the valiant, the son of Seti I, the great ruler of Egypt, the valiant; 
the grandson of Ramses I, the great ruler of Egypt, the valiant; 
the good treaty of peace and of brotherhood, setting peace 
between them forever.’ After a review of the former relations 
between the two countries, it passed to a general definition of the 
present pact, and thus to its special stipulations. Of these the 
most important were: the renunciation by both rulers of all pro- 
jects of conquest against the other, the reaffirmation of the former 
treaties existing between the two countries, a defensive alliance 
involving the assistance of each against the other’s foes, co-opera- 


tion in the chastisement of delinquent subjects, probably in Syria; 
and the extradition of political fugitives and immigrants. A codicil 
provided for the humane treatment of the last-named. A thou- 
sand gods and goddesses of the land of the Hittites, and the same 
number from the land of Egypt were called upon to witness the 
compact, some of the more important Hittite divinities being 
mentioned by the names of their cities. The remarkable document 
closes with a curse on the violators of the treaty and a blessing 
upon those who should keep it — or it would logically so close 
save that the codicil already mentioned is here attached. Ramses 
had copies of the treaty engraved on the walls of his temples at 
Thebes, preceded by an account of the coming of the Hittite 
messengers, and followed by a description of the figures and other 
representations depicted on the silver tablet. Two such copies 
have been found at Thebes, one at Karnak and the other at the 
Ramesseum, although the latter has since perished. One of the 
most remarkable achievements of modern excavation has been 
the discovery of a cuneiform transcript of this treaty in the 
archives of the Hittite kings at Boghaz Keui (see p. 2 66). 

The cuneiform archives of Boghaz Keui show that the Hittite 
king retained control of Amor, just north of Palestine. Although 
the treaty does not take up the boundary question, it is evident 
that, notwithstanding Ramses IPs advance far into Naharin, he 
was unable to hold the conquests which he had made there. He 
had, therefore, not permanently advanced the boundary of his 
father’s kingdom in Asia, and the Egyptian frontier, as determined 
by the new peace, will not have been far north of the northern 
confines of Palestine. The Hittite king is recognized in the treaty 
as on an equality with the Pharaoh and received the same con- 
ditions; but, as commonly in the Orient, the whole transaction was 
interpreted by Ramses on his monuments as a great triumph for 
himself, and he now constantly designated himself as the con- 
queror of the Hittites. Once consummated, the peace was kept, 
and although it involved the sacrifice of Ramses’ ambitions for 
conquest in Asia, the treaty must have been entirely satisfactory 
to both parties. The wives of the two contracting sovereigns, 
calling themselves ‘the great queen of Egypt’ and ‘the great 
queen of Hatti,’ exchanged friendly letters of greeting and 
addressed each other as ‘sister.’ Thirteen years later (1259 b.c.) 
the Hittite king himself visited Egypt to celebrate the marriage 
of his eldest daughter as the wife of Ramses. Bearing rich gifts 
in a brilliant procession, with his daughter at its head, Hattushil, 
accompanied by the king of Kode, appeared in Ramses’ palace, 


and his military escort mingled with the Egyptian troops whom 
they had once fought upon the Syrian plains. 

The Hittite princess was given an Egyptian name, Matnefrure 
(‘Who sees the beauty of Re’), and assumed a prominent position 
at court. The visit of her father was depicted on the front of 
Ramses’ temple at Abu Simbel, with accompanying narrative 
inscriptions, and she was given a statue beside her royal husband 
in Tanis. Sound in limb and long in stride the visitors came, with 
rich gifts, traversing many mountains and difficult ways, warriors 
and regulars; and Ramses thoughtfully offered sacrifices to the 
god Sutekh for fair weather. Court poets celebrated the event 
and pictured the Hittite king as sending to the king of Kode and 
summoning him to join in the journey to Egypt that they might 
do honour to the Pharaoh. The event made a popular impression 
also, and a folk-tale, which was not put into writing, so far as we 
know, until Greek times, began with the marriage and told how 
afterward, at the request of her father, an image of the Theban 
Khonsu was sent to the land of the princess, that the god’s power 
might drive forth the evil spirits from her afflicted sister. Through- 
out Ramses’ long reign the treaty remained unbroken, and it is 
even probable that Ramses received a second daughter of Hattu- 
shil in marriage. The peace continued without interruption at 
least into the reign of his successor, Merneptah. 

From the day of the peace compact with Hattushil, therefore, 
Ramses II was never called upon to enter the field again. With 
the Asiatic campaigns of this Pharaoh the military aggressiveness 
of Egypt which had been awakened under Ahmose I in the 
expulsion of the Hyksos was completely exhausted. Nor did it 
ever revive. It was with mercenary forces and under the influence 
of foreign blood in the royal family that sporadic attempts to 
recover Syria and Palestine were made in later days. Hence- 
forward for a long time the Pharaoh’s army was to be but a weapon 
of defence against foreign aggression : a weapon, however, which 
he was himself unable to control — and before which the venerable 
line of Re was finally to disappear. 


The importance of Egyptian interests in Asia had as irresistibly 
drawn the centre of power on the Nile from Thebes to the Delta, 
as the residence of the late Roman emperors was shifted from 
Rome to Byzantium. The Pharaoh’s constant presence there 
resulted in a development of the cities of the eastern Delta such 

152 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

as they had never before enjoyed. Tanis became a great and 
flourishing city, with a splendid temple, the work of Ramses’ 
architects. High above its massive pylons towered a monolithic 
granite colossus of Ramses, over ninety feet in height, weighing 
nine hundred tons, and visible across the level country of the 
surrounding Delta for many miles. The Wadi 'Jhimllat, along 
which ran the canal from the Nile eastward to the Bitter Lakes, 
forming a natural approach to Egypt from Asia, was also the 
object of Ramses’ careful attention, and he built upon it, half-way 
out to the Isthmus of Suez, a ‘store-city,’ which he called Pithom, 
or ‘House of Atum.’ At its western end he and Seti founded a 
city just north of Heliopolis, now known as Tell el-Yehudiyeh. 
In the eastern Delta he founded a residence city, Per-Ramses, 
or ‘House of Ramses,’ which, as recent study of the evidence 
would indicate, we should seek on the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, 
at or near Pelusium. It was certainly close to the eastern frontier, 
for a poet of the time singing of its beauties refers to it as being 
between Egypt and Syria. It was also accessible to sea-faring 
traffic. Per-Ramses became the seat of government and all records 
of state were deposited there. 

As the conclusion of his long war in Asia gave him greater 
leisure, Ramses devoted himself to vast monumental buildings. 
At Thebes he spent enormous resources on the completion of his 
father’s mortuary temple, on another beautiful sanctuary for his 
own mortuary service, known to all visitors at Thebes as the Rames- 
seum; and on a large court and pylon in enlargement of the Luxor 
temple. Surpassing in size all buildings of the ancient or modern 
world, the colossal colonnaded hall of the Karnak temple, already 
begun under the first Ramses, the Pharaoh’s grandfather, was 
now completed by Ramses II. Few of the great temples of Egypt 
have not some chamber, hall, colonnade or pylon which bears his 
name, in perpetuating which the king stopped at no desecration or 
destruction of the ancient monuments of the country. Numberless 
were the monuments of his ancestors on which he placed his own 
name, or still worse, from which he remorselessly appropriated 
building materials, as if the ancient monuments of the nation 
were public quarries. But, in spite of these facts, his own legitimate 
building was on a scale quite surpassing in size and extent any- 
thing that his ancestors had ever accomplished. The buildings 
which he erected were filled with innumerable supplementary 
monuments, especially obelisks and colossal statues of himself. 
The latter are the greatest monolithic statues ever executed. 

We have already referred to the tallest of these in the temple at 


Tanis; there was another granite monolith towering over the pylons 
of the Ramesseum at Thebes which, although not so high, weighed 
something like a thousand tons. As the years passed and he 
celebrated jubilee after jubilee the obelisks which he erected in 
commemoration of these festivals rapidly rose among his temples. 
At Tanis alone he erected no less than fourteen, all of which are 
now prostrate; three at least of his obelisks are in Rome; and of 
the two which he erected in Luxor, one is in Paris. Notwith- 
standing the shift of the centre of gravity northward, the south 
was not neglected. In Nubia Ramses became the patron deity; 
no less than six new temples arose there, dedicated to the great 
gods of Egypt. Of his Nubian sanctuaries, the great rock temple 
at Abu Simbel is the finest and deservedly the goal of modern 
travellers in Egypt. Ramses’ great building enterprises were not 
achieved without vast expense of resources, especially those of 
labour. While he was unable to draw upon Asia for captive labour 
as extensively as his great predecessors of the XVIIIth Dynasty, 
yet his building must have been largely accomplished by such 
means. Besides the wealth absorbed in its erection, every temple 
demanded a rich endowment for its maintenance, and such liberal 
provision for all his numerous temples must have been a serious 
economic problem. 

Foreign intercourse, especially with Palestine and Syria, was 
now more intimate than ever. In the rough memoranda of a 
commandant’s scribe, probably of the frontier fortress of Tharu 
(or Thel, just east of the modern Suez Canal at Kantara), we find 
noted the people whom he had allowed to pass: messengers 
with letters for the officers of the Palestinian garrisons, for the 
king of Tyre, and for officers with the king (Merneptah) then 
perhaps campaigning in Syria, besides officers bearing reports, 
or hurrying out to Syria to join the Pharaoh. Although there was 
never a continuous fortification of any length across the Isthmus 
of Suez, there was a line of strongholds, of which Tharu was one 
and Per-Ramses another, stretching well across the zone along 
which Egypt might be entered from Asia. This zone did not 
extend to the southern side of the isthmus, but was confined to 
the territory between Lake Timsah and the Mediterranean, 
whence the line of fortresses extended southward, passed the lake 
and bent westward into the Wadi Tumllat. Hence it is that 
Hebrew tradition depicts the escape of the Israelites across the 
southern half of the isthmus south of the line of defences, which 
might have stopped them. 

The tide of commerce that ebbed and flowed through the 

154 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

Isthmus of Suez was even fuller than under the XVIIIth Dynasty, 
while on the Mediterranean the Egyptian galleys must have 
whitened the sea. On the Pharaoh’s table were rarities and 
delicacies from Cyprus, the land of the Hittites and of the 
Amorites, Babylonia and Naharin. Elaborately wrought chariots, 
weapons, whips and gold-mounted staves from the Palestinian 
and Syrian towns filled his magazines, while his stalls boasted 
fine horses of Babylon and cattle of the Hittite country. The 
appurtenances of a rich man’s estate included a galley plying 
between Egypt and the Syrian coast to bring to the pampered 
Egyptian the luxuries of Asia; and even Seti I’s mortuary temple 
at Abydos possessed its own sea-going vessels, given by Ramses, 
to convey the temple offerings from the east. The houses of the 
rich were filled with the most exquisite products of the Asiatic 
craftsman and artist; and these works strongly influenced the art 
of the time in Egypt. The country swarmed with Semitic and 
other Asiatic slaves. It is quite plausible that Ramses II, probably 
the builder of Pithom and Raamses, store-cities of the eastern 
Delta, should have been the Pharaoh who figured in the tradition 
of the Israelites, and that a group of their ancestors, after a 
friendly reception, were subjected to slave labour in the building 
of the two places mentioned. A letter of a frontier official, dated 
in the reign of Ramses IPs successor, tells of passing a body 
of Edomite Bedouins through a fortress in the Wadi Tumllat, 
that they might pasture their herds by the pools of Pithom as the 
Hebrews had done in the days of Joseph. Phoenician and other 
alien merchants were so numerous that there was a foreign 
quarter in Memphis, with its temples of Baal and Astarte; and 
these and other Semitic gods found a place in the Egyptian 
pantheon. The dialects of Syria, of which Hebrew was one, lent 
many a Semitic word to the current language of the day, as well 
as select terms with which the learned scribes were fond of 
garnishing their writings. We find such words commonly in the 
XIXth Dynasty papyri long before they appear in the Hebrew 
writings of the Old Testament. 

Already apparent under the XVIIIth Dynasty, the influence 
of the vast influx of Asiatic life was now profound. The royal 
family was not exempt from such influence; Ramses’ favourite 
daughter was called ‘Bint-Anath,’ a Semitic name, which means 
‘Daughter of Anath’ (a Syrian goddess), and one of the royal 
steeds was named ‘Anath-herte,’ ‘Anath is Satisfied.’ Many a 
foreigner of Semitic blood found favour and ultimately high 
station at the court or in the government. A Syrian named 


Ben-’Ozen was chief herald or marshal of Merneptah’s court, 
though he was never regent as sometimes stated. The commercial 
opportunities of the time brought wealth and power to such 
foreigners in Egypt; a Syrian sea-captain named Ben-Anath was 
able to secure a son of Ramses II as a husband for his daughter. 
In the army great careers were open to such foreigners, although 
the rank and file of the Pharaoh’s forces were replenished from 
western and southern peoples rather than from Asia. In a body 
of five thousand troops sent by Ramses to the Wadi Hammamat 
for service in the quarries there, not a single native Egyptian was 
to be found; over four thousand of them were Sherden and 
Libyans and the remainder were Nubians, common in the 
Egyptian ranks as early as the VI th Dynasty. The dangerous 
tendencies inherent in such a system had already shown them- 
selves, and were soon felt by the royal house, although powerless 
to make head against them. The warlike spirit which had made 
Egypt the first world power had endured but a few generations, 
and a naturally peaceful people were returning to their accustomed 
peaceful life; while at the very moment when this reversion to 
their old manner of living was taking place, the peoples of the 
eastern Mediterranean and the Libyan tribes offered the Pharaoh 
an excellent class of mercenary soldiery which under such circum- 
stances he could not fail to utilize. 

Although the empire in Asia was greatly shrunken, all Palestine 
and possibly some of northern Syria continued to pay tribute to 
the Pharaoh, while on the south the boundary was as before at 
Napata, below the fourth cataract. There were stately pageants 
when the magnificent Pharaoh, now in the prime of life, received 
the magnates of his empire, from the crown-prince down through 
all his exalted dignitaries to the mayors of the outlying towns, a 
brilliant procession, bringing him the tribute and imposts of his 
realm from the southern limits of Nubia to the Hittite frontier in 
Syria. The wealth thus gained still served high purposes. Art 
still flourished, especially in works of the sculptor and architect. 
Buildings and statues of colossal proportions, which still serve to 
make the Nile valley a veritable wonderland, were the work of 
the XIXth Dynasty and especially of Ramses II. To him we 
chiefly owe the overwhelming grandeur of the great Karnak hall, 
while in his mortuary temple, the Ramesseum, we have a building 
hardly inferior in refined beauty to the best works of the XVIIIth 
Dynasty. No visitor to the temple of Abu Simbel will ever forget 
the solemn grandeur of this lonely sanctuary looking out upon 
the river from the sombre cliffs. But among the host of buildings 




which Ramses exacted from his architects, there were unavoidably 
many which were devoid of all life and freshness, or, like his 
addition to the Luxor temple, heavy, vulgar, and of very slovenly 
workmanship. All such buildings were emblazoned with gaily 
coloured reliefs, depicting the valiant deeds of the Pharaoh in his 
various wars, especially, as we have already noticed, in his 
desperate defence at the battle of Kadesh. This last was the most 
pretentious composition ever attempted by the Egyptian 

This last incident was not only influential in graphic art; it 
also wrought powerfully upon the imagination of the court poets, 
one of whom produced a prose poem on the battle, which displays 
a good deal of literary skill, and is the nearest approach to the 
epic to be found in Egyptian literature. A copy of this composition 
on papyrus was made by a scribe named Pentewere (Pentaur), 
who was misunderstood by early students of the document to be 
the author of the poem. The real author is unknown, although 
‘Pentaur’ still commonly enjoys the distinction. In manner this 
heroic poem strikes a new note; but it came at a period too late 
in the history of the nation to be the impulse toward a really 
great epic. The martial age and the creative spirit were past in 
Egypt. In the tale, however, the XIXth Dynasty really showed 
great fertility, combined with a spontaneous naturalism, which 
quite swept away all trace of the artificialities of the Middle 
Kingdom. Already in the Middle Kingdom there had grown up 
collections of artless folk-tales woven often about a historical 
motive, and such tales, clothed in the simple language of the 
people, had already in the XVIIIth Dynasty gained sufficient 
respectability to be put into writing. While the XVIIIth Dynasty 
possessed such tales as these, yet by far the larger part of our 
surviving manuscripts of this class date from the XIXth Dynasty 
and later. While much of such literature is poetic in content and 
spirit, it lacks poetic form. Such form, however, was not wanting, 
and among the songs of this period are some poems which might 
well find a place among a more pretentious literature. There were 
love-songs also, which in a land where imagination was not strong 
possess qualities of genuine feeling, and do not fail in their 
appeal to us of the modern world. Religious poems, songs and 
hymns are now very numerous, and some of them display distinct 
literary character. We shall revert to them again in discussing the 
religion of this age. Numerous letters from scribes and officials 
of the time, exercises and practice letters composed by pupils of 
the scribal schools, bills, temple-records and accounts — all these 


serve to fill in the detail in a picture of unusual fullness and 
interest. See below, pp. 221 sqq., 326 sq. 

Since the overthrow of Ikhnaton and the return to the con- 
ventions of the past, the state religion had lost all vitality, and in 
the hands of the orthodox priests no longer possessed the creative 
faculty. Yet the religion of the time was making a kind of pro- 
gress, or at least it was moving in a certain direction and that 
very rapidly. The state, always closely connected with religion, 
was gradually being more and more regarded as chiefly a religious 
institution, designed to exalt and honour the gods through its 
head the Pharaoh. Among other indications of this tendency the 
names of the temples furnish a significant hint. Sanctuaries which 
formerly bore names like ‘Splendour of Splendours,’ ‘Splendid 
in Monuments,’ ‘Gift of Life,’ and the like, were now designated 
‘Dwelling of Seti in the House of Amon,’ or ‘Dwelling of Ramses 
in the House of Ptah.’ This tendency, already observable in the 
Middle Kingdom, was now universal, and every temple was thus 
designated not only as the sanctuary, but also as the dwelling of 
the ruling Pharaoh. It was an indication that what had long been a 
sacerdotal ideal of the state was now beginning to be practically 
realized: the empire was to become the domain of the gods and 
the Pharaoh was to give himself up to the duties of a universal 

Accordingly, the state was being gradually distorted to fulfil 
one function at the expense of all the rest, and its wealth and 
economic resources were thus being slowly engulfed, until its 
industrial processes should become but incidents in the main- 
tenance of the gods. The temple endowments, not being subject 
to taxes, played an important economic role, and we have seen 
Seti I and Ramses II in search of new sources of revenue as the 
demands of the priesthoods increased. As the wealth and power 
of Amon in particular were augmented, his high-priest at Thebes 
became a more and more important political factor. We recall 
that he was head of the sacerdotal organization embracing all the 
priesthoods of the country; he thus controlled a most influential 
political faction. Hence it was that the high-priest of Amon under 
Merneptah (Ramses IPs son and successor) and possibly already 
under Ramses himself, was able to go further and to install his 
son as his own successor, thus firmly entrenching his family at 
the head of the most powerful hierarchy in Egypt. While such a 
family like a royal dynasty might suffer overthrow, the precedent 
was a dangerous one, and it ultimately resulted in the dethrone- 
ment of the Pharaohs at the hands of the priests. That event, 

158 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

however, was still a century and half distant, and meantime the 
high-priest employed his power and influence with the Pharaoh 
in enforcing ever fresh demands upon his treasury until, before 
the close of the XIXth Dynasty, Amon had even secured certain 
‘gold country’ in his own right. It was administered by the viceroy 
of Kush, who therefore assumed the additional title ‘Governor 
of the Gold Country of Amon.’ Already in his first year we find 
Ramses II permitting the priests of Amon to dictate the appoint- 
ment of their own high-priest by an oracle of the god himself. 
Later in his reign the priesthood had actually usurped legal 
functions also, and the question of a disputed title to land was 
settled by an oracle from a temple statue of Ahmose I. That the 
judicial authorities were obliged to accept such priestly juggling 
as a legal verdict shows us the gradual emergence of the sacerdotal 
state described by Diodorus, upon which the Egyptian priests of 
Greek times looked back as upon a golden age. On the trend 
towards sacerdotalism see also p. 209. 

Though the state religion was made up of formalities, the 
Pharaohs were not without their own ethical standards, and these 
were not always wholly a matter of appearances. We have wit- 
nessed the efforts of Harmhab to enforce honesty in the dealings 
of the government with its subjects; we have noted Thutmose 
Ill’s respect for truth. In the dedicatory record of his mortuary 
temple at Thebes, Ramses III proclaims that he did not remove 
any old tombs to obtain the necessary room for the building; and 
he also wishes it known that he gained his exalted station without 
depriving any one else of the throne. On the other hand, we have 
also noticed the barbarous disregard of the sanctity of the monu- 
ments of his ancestors by Ramses II. The things for which the 
Ramessid kings prayed were not character nor the blameless life. 
It is material things which they desire. Ramses IV prays to 
Osiris, ‘And thou shalt give to me health, life, long existence and 
a prolonged reign; endurance to my every member, sight to my 
eyes, hearing to my ears, pleasure to my heart daily. And thou 
shalt give to me to eat until I am satisfied, and thou shalt give to 
me to drink until I am drunk. And thou shalt establish my issue 
as kings forever and ever. And thou shalt grant me contentment 
every day, and thou shalt hear my voice in every saying, when I 
shall tell them to thee, and thou shalt give them to me with a 
loving heart. And thou shalt give to me high and plenteous 
Niles in order to supply thy divine offerings and to supply the 
divine offerings of all the gods and goddesses of South and North; 
in order to preserve alive the divine bulls, in order to preserve 


VII, m] 


alive the people of all thy lands, their cattle and their groves, 
which thy hand has made. For thou art he who has made them 
all and thou canst not forsake them to carry out other designs 
with them; for that is not right.’ 

It is at this time that we gain our sole glimpse into the religious 
beliefs of the common people. The appropriation of the temples 
by the state had long ago driven them from their ancient shrines. 
The poor man had no place amid such magnificence, nor could 
he offer anything worthy the attention of a god of such splendour. 
The old modest cult of the great gods having long since passed 
away, the poor man could only resort to the host of minor genii 
or spirits of mirth and music, the demi-gods, who, frequenting 
this or that local region, had interest and inclination to assist the 
humble in their daily cares and needs. Any object whatsoever 
might become the poor man’s god. A man writing from Thebes 
commends his friend to Amon, Mut and Khonsu, the great 
divinities of that place, but adds also, ‘ to the great gate of Beki, 
to the eight apes which are in the forecourt,’ and to two trees. In 
the Theban necropolis Amenhotep I and the queen Nefretere 
have become the favourite local divinities, and a man who 
accidentally thrust his hand into a hole where lay a large serpent, 
without being bitten, immediately erected a tablet to tell the tale 
and express his gratitude to Amenhotep, whose power alone had 
saved him. Another had in some way transgressed against a 
goddess who, according to popular belief, resided in a hill-top of 
the same necropolis, and when at last the goddess released him 
from the power of the disease with which she was afflicting him, 
he erected a similar memorial in her honour. In the same way 
the dead might afflict the living, and an officer who was tormented 
by his deceased wife wrote to her a letter of remonstrance and 
placed it in the hand of another dead person that it might be 
duly delivered to his wife in the Hereafter. Besides the local gods 
or demi-gods and the old kings, the foreign gods of Syria, brought 
in by the hosts of Asiatic slaves, appear also among those to whom 
the folk appeal; Baal, Kadesh, Astarte, Resheph, Anath and 
Sutekh are not uncommon names upon the votive tablets of the 
time (p.347 ny), and Sutekh, a form of Set which had wandered into 
Syria from Egypt and returned with the Hyksos, even became 
the favourite and patron of the royal city of Ramses II. Animal 
worship now also begins to appear both among the people and in 
official circles. 

Although perhaps rooted in the teaching of an exclusive few 
heretofore, belief in an intimate and personal relation between 

160 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

the worshipper and his god had now, with the lapse of centuries 
and by slow and gradual process, become widespread among the 
people. An age of personal piety and inner aspiration to God 
now began to dawn among the masses. It is a notable develop- 
ment, the earliest of its kind as yet discernible in the history of 
the east, or for that matter in the history of man. We are able to 
follow it only at Thebes, and it is not a little interesting to be 
able to look into the souls of the common folk who thronged the 
streets and markets, who tilled the fields and maintained the 
industries, who kept the accounts and carried on the official 
records, the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, the men 
and women upon whose shoulders rested the great burdens of 
material life in the vast capital of the Egyptian empire during the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries before Christ. A scribe in one of 
the treasury magazines of the Theban necropolis prays to Amon, 
as to him 

Who cometh to the silent, 

Who saveth the poor, 

Who heareth the prayers of him who calls to him. 

Who saveth a man from the haughty. 

Who bringeth the Nile for him who is among them. 

When he riseth, the people live, 

Their hearts live when they see him 
Who giveth breath to him who is the egg, 

Who maketh the people and the birds to live, 

Who supplieth the needs of the mice in their holes, 

The worms and the insects likewise. 

It is in such an attitude as we find revealed in this prayer that 
the worshipper may turn to his God as to a fountain of spiritual 
refreshment, saying, ‘Thou sweet Well for him that thirsteth in 
the desert; it is closed to him who speaks, but it is open to him 
who is silent. When he who is silent comes, lo, he finds the well.’ 
This attitude of silent communion, waiting upon the gracious 
goodness of God, was not confined to the select few, nor to the 
educated priestly communities. On the humblest monuments of 
the common people Amon is called the god, ‘ who cometh to the 
silent,’ or the ‘lord of the silent,’ as we have above observed. It 
is in this final development of devotional feeling, really crowning 
the religious and intellectual revolution of Ikhnaton, and also 
forming the culmination of the doctrines of social justice emerging 
in the Feudal Age, that the religion of Egypt reached its noblest 


period (cf. below, p. 208). The materials for the age of decadence 
which followed are too scanty to reveal clearly the causes of the 
stagnation which now ensued, a decline from which the religious 
life of Egypt never recovered. 

In morals and in the attitude toward life the sages continued 
to maintain a spirit of wholesome regard for the highest practical 
ideals, an attitude in which we discern a distinct advance upon 
the teachings of the Fathers. Reputation was strictly to be 
guarded. ‘Let every place which thou lovest be known,’ says the 
sage; and drunkenness and dissolute living are exhibited in all 
their disastrous consequences for the young. To the young man 
the dangers of immorality are bared with naked frankness. 
‘ Guard thee from the woman from abroad, who is not known in 
her city; look not on her... know her not in the flesh; (for she 
is) a flood great and deep, whose whirling no man knows. The 
woman whose husband is far away, “lam beautiful,” says she to 
thee every day. When she has no witnesses, she stands and 
ensnares thee. O great crime worthy of death when one hearkens, 
even when it is not known abroad. (For) a man takes up every sin 
(after) this one .’ As for the good things of life, they are to be 
regarded with philosophical reserve. It is foolish to count upon 
inherited wealth as a source of happiness, ‘ Say not, “ My maternal 
grandfather has a house on the estate of So and So.” Then when 
thou comest to the division (by will) with thy brother, thy portion 
is (only) a storage-shed.’ In such things indeed there is no 
stability. ‘So it is forever, men are naught. One is rich, another 

is poor He who is rich last year, he is a vagrant this year..';. 

The watercourse of last year, it is another place this year. Great 
seas become dry places, and shores become deeps.’ We have here 
that oriental resignation to the contrasts in life which seem to 
have developed among all the peoples of the early east. 

The records of Ramses II’s reign are so largely of sacerdotal 
origin, and so filled with the priestly adulation of the time, with 
its endless reiteration of conventional flattery, that we can discern 
little individuality through the mass of meaningless verbiage. 
His superb statue in Turin is proved by his surviving body to be 
a faithful portrait, showing us at least the outward man as he was. 
In person he was tall and handsome, with features of dreamy and 
almost effeminate beauty, in no wise suggestive of the manly 
traits which he certainly possessed. For the incident at Kadesh 
showed him unquestionably a man of fine courage with ability to 
rise to a supreme crisis; while the indomitable spirit evident there 
is again exhibited in the tenacity with which he pushed the war 

C.A.H. II 


162 THE AGE OF RAMSES II [chap. 

against the great Hittite empire and carried his conquests, even if 
not lasting, far into northern Syria. He was inordinately vain and 
made far more ostentatious display of his wars on his monuments 
than was ever done by Thutmose III. He loved ease and pleasure 
and gave himself up without restraint to voluptuous enjoyments. 
He had an enormous harem, and as the years passed his children 
multiplied rapidly. He left over a hundred sons and at least half 
as many daughters, several of whom he himself married. He thus 
left a family so numerous that they became a Ramessid class of 
nobles whom we still find over four hundred years later bearing 
among their titles the name Ramses, not as a patronymic, but as 
the designation of a class or rank. He took great pride in his 
enormous family and often ordered his sculptors to depict his 
sons and daughters in long rows upon the walls of his temples. 
His favourite among them was Khamwese, whom he made high- 
priest of Ptah at Memphis. He was a great magician, whose 
memory still lived in the folk-tales of Egypt a thousand years 
later. The sons of Ramses’ youth accompanied him in his wars, 
and according to Diodorus one of them was in command of each 
of the divisions of his army. 

As the Pharaoh reached the thirtieth year of his reign he 
celebrated his first jubilee, placing the ceremonies of the cele- 
bration in the hands of his favourite son, Khamwese. Twenty 
years more passed, during which Ramses celebrated a jubilee 
every one to three years, instituting no less than nine of these 
feasts, a far larger number than we are able to find in the reigns 
of any of his predecessors. The obelisks erected on these occasions 
have already claimed our notice. With his name perpetuated in 
vast buildings distributed at all points along the Nile from the 
marshes of the northern Delta to the fourth cataract, Ramses 
lived on in magnificence even surpassing that of Amenhotep III. 
His was the sunset glory of the venerable line which he repre- 
sented. As the years passed the sons of his youth were taken from 
him and Khamwese was no longer there to conduct the celebration 
of the old king’s jubilees. One by one they passed away until 
twelve were gone, and the thirteenth was the eldest and heir to 
the throne. Yet still the old king lived on. He had lost the 
vitality for aggressive rule. The Libyans and the maritime 
peoples allied with them, Sherden, Lycians and the Aegean races 
whom he had once swept from his coasts or impressed into the 
service of his army, now entered the western Delta with impunity. 
The Libyans pushed forward, gradually extending their settle- 
ments almost to the gates of Memphis and crossed the southern 


apex of the Delta under the very shadow of the walls of 

Senile decay rendered him deaf to alarms and complaints which 
would have brought instant retribution upon the invaders in the 
days of his vigorous youth. Amid the splendours of his magnificent 
residence in the eastern Delta, the threatening conditions at its 
opposite extremity never roused him from the lethargy into which 
he had fallen. Finally, having ruled for sixty-seven years, and being 
over ninety years of age, he passed away (1225 b.c.), none too 
soon for the redemption of his empire. We are able to look into 
the withered face of the aged Pharaoh, the features not greatly 
changed from what he was in those last days of splendour in the 
city of Per-Ramses, and the resemblance to the face of the youth 
in the noble Turin statue is still very marked. Probably no 
Pharaoh ever left a more profound impression upon his age. A 
quarter of a century later began a line of ten kings bearing his 
name. One of them prayed that he might be granted a reign of 
sixty-seven years like that of his great ancestor, and all of them 
with varying success imitated his glory. He had set his stamp 
upon them all for a hundred and fifty years, and it was impossible 
to be a Pharaoh without being a Ramses. 




T OWARD the close of the thirteenth century b.c., the con- 
ditions of power in the eastern Mediterranean world, in 
which Egypt had so long played the leading role, suffered pro- 
found change resulting from the first historic intrusion of hostile 
European forces into the arena of the Near East. The southward 
shift of the Hellenic peoples in the Balkan Peninsula, which had 
probably been going on since about the close of the third mil- 
lenium b.c., had disturbed and was beginning partially to displace 
the Aegean population, as the Greeks gradually took possession 
of the regions which were to form the later Greek world. Thus 
driven out by the Greek migration to the Mediterranean, the 
leaders of the disturbed maritime communities of the northern 
Mediterranean, chiefly Aegeans, creeping along the coasts, 
sought plunder or places of permanent settlement for their 
dependents, and together with the Libyans on the one hand and 
the peoples of Asia Minor on the other, they broke in wave on 
wave on the borders of the Pharaoh’s empire. Egypt’s power in 
Asia, like that of the Ptolemaic kings of later times, rested 
essentially upon her naval supremacy in the Mediterranean. The 
maritime leadership of the Pharaohs thus threatened, was shaken 
and finally gave way. With it an indispensable support of 
Egyptian imperial power collapsed. Inevitably thrown on the 
defensive by these developments, Egypt’s day of conquest and 
aggression had passed. If this was the effect of the external situa- 
tion just described, it was also no less the result of the serious 
internal conditions which had arisen in the later years of Ramses 
II’s reign. For, as we have already seen, the nation had lost its 
expansive power; and the impulse which had resulted from the 
expulsion of the Hyksos three hundred and fifty years before, 
was no longer felt. The spirit which had stirred the heroes of the 
first Asiatic conquests had now vanished. For six hundred years 
no serious effort to extend the borders of Egypt was made; and 


for the next sixty years after the death of Ramses II we find the 
Pharaohs struggling merely to preserve the empire, which it had 
been the ambition of their great ancestors rather to extend. 

At this crisis in the fortunes of Egypt, after it had been under 
the rule of an aged man for twenty years and much needed the 
vigorous hand of a young and active monarch, the enfeebled 
Ramses was succeeded by his thirteenth son, Merneptah, now 
far advanced in years. Thus one old man succeeded another on 
the throne. The result was what might have been expected. To 
check the bold incursions of the Libyans and their maritime allies 
on the west, nothing was done. 

The death of Ramses was not followed by any disturbance in 
the Asiatic dominions in so far as we can see. The northern 
border in Syria was as far north as the upper Orontes valley, 
including at least part of the Amorite country in which Merneptah 
had a royal city bearing his name, probably inherited from his 
father and renamed. With the Hittite kingdom he enjoyed un- 
disturbed peace, doubtless under the terms of the old treaty, 
negotiated by his father forty-six years before. Indeed, Merneptah 
sent shiploads of grain to the Hittites to relieve them in time of 
famine. By the end of his second year, however, he had reason 
to rue the good-will shown his father’s ancient enemy. Among the 
allies of the Hittites at the battle of Kadesh there were already 
maritime peoples like the Lycians and Dardanians. In some way 
Merneptah discovered that the Hittites were now involved in 
the incursions of these people in the western Delta in alliance 
with the Libyans. In the year three (about 1223 b.c.) the Pharaoh 
found widespread revolt against him in Asia : Askalon at the very 
gates of Egypt, the powerful city of Gezer at the lower end of the 
valley of Aijalon, leading up from the sea-plain to Jerusalem; 
Yenoam, given by Thutmose III to Amon two hundred and 
sixty years before; some of the tribes of Israel and all western 
Syria-Palestine as far as it was controlled by the Pharaoh — all 
these rose against their Egyptian overlord. We have nothing but 
a song of triumph to tell us of the ensuing war; but it is evident 
that Merneptah appeared in Asia in his third year, and in spite of 
his advanced years carried the campaign to a successful issue. 
It is probable, indeed, that even the Hittites did not escape his 
wrath, though we cannot suppose that the aged Merneptah could 
have done more than plunder a border town or two. The revolting 
cities were severely punished, and all Palestine was again humili- 
ated and brought completely under the yoke. Among the revolters 
who suffered was ‘Israel,’ which here makes its first appearance 


in history as the name of a people. Gezer must have caused 
Merneptah some trouble and perhaps withstood a siege; in any 
case he thereafter styled himself in his titulary ‘Binder of Gezer,’ 
as if its subjugation were a notable achievement. Such a siege 
would explain why Merneptah was unable to move against the 
invaders of the western Delta until his fifth year, as the investment 
of such a stronghold as Gezer might have occupied him another year. 

The chronic situation in the western Delta, which was always 
overrun by Libyan intruders whenever the central government 
weakened or relaxed its vigilance, had now become very serious. 
Hordes of Tehenu-Libyans were pushing farther into the Delta 
from their settlements along the northern coast of Africa west 
of Egypt. It is possible that some of their vanguard had even 
reached the canal of Heliopolis. Little is known of the Libyans 
at this time. Immediately upon the Egyptian border seems to have 
been the territory of the Tehenu; farther west came the tribes 
known to the Egyptians as Lebu or Rebu, the Libyans of the 
Greeks, by which name also the Egyptians designated these 
western peoples as a whole. On the extreme west, and extending 
far into then unknown regions, lived the Meshwesh, or Maxyes, 
of Herodotus. They were all doubtless the ancestors of the Berber 
tribes of north Africa. They were far from being totally uncivilized 
barbarians, but were skilled in war, well armed and capable of 
serious enterprises against the Pharaoh. Just at this time they 
were rapidly consolidating, and under good leadership gave 
promise of becoming an aggressive and formidable state, with its 
frontier not ten days’ march from the Pharaoh’s residence in the 
eastern Delta. The whole western Delta was strongly tinctured 
with Libyan blood, and Libyan families were now constantly 
crossing the western border of the Delta as far as the ‘great 
river’ as the western or Canopic mouth of the Nile was called. 
Others had penetrated to the two northern oases which lie south- 
west of the Fayyum. ‘They spend their time going about the 
land fighting to fill their bellies daily,’ says Merneptah’s record, 
‘they come to the land of Egypt to seek the necessities of their 

Emboldened by their long immunity, the Libyans assumed 
an organized offensive, and what had been but a scattered 
immigration now became a compact invasion. Meryey, king of 
the Libyans, forced the Tehenu to join him and, supported by 
roving bands of maritime adventurers from the coast, he invaded 
Egypt. He brought his wife and children with him, as did also 
his allies, and the movement was clearly an immigration as well 


as an invasion. Judging from the numbers who were afterward 
slain or captured, the Libyan king must have commanded at least 
some twenty thousand men or more. The allies were the now 
familiar Sherden (see above, p. 96); the Shekelesh (possibly the 
Sikel natives of Sicily, or of Sagalassus); Ekwesh (probably 
Achaeans); the Lycians, who had preyed on Egypt since the days 
of Amenhotep III; and the Teresh (supposed by some to be 
Tyrsenians or Etruscans) 1 . It is with these wandering marauders 
that the peoples of Europe emerged for the first time upon the 
arena of history with the older oriental peoples, although we have 
seen them in their material documents since the Middle Kingdom. 

When the news of the danger reached him late in March of 
his fifth year, Merneptah, fully aroused to the situation, was 
fortifying Heliopolis and Memphis. Instantly summoning his 
officials, he ordered them to muster the troops and have the army 
ready to move in fourteen days. The aged king had a reassuring 
dream in which Ptah appeared in gigantic stature beside him and 
extended him a sword, telling him to banish all fear. By the middle 
of April the Egyptian force was in the western Delta, and on the 
evening of the same day came within striking distance of the 
enemy. Somewhere on the main road leading westward out of 
the Delta into the Libyan country, a few miles inward from the 
frontier fort and station guarding the road at the point where it 
entered the Delta, was a place called Perire. In its vicinity, 
among the opulent vineyards of the region, there was a chateau 
of the Pharaoh, and thence eastward extended the broad prospect 
of nodding grain fields where the rich Delta harvest was now fast 
ripening for the sickle. Upon such a prospect of smiling plenty 
the barbarian host looked down as they pushed past the western 
frontier forts. By the Pharaoh’s Perire chateau, on the morning of 
April 15, 1221B.C., battle was joined. The contest had lasted six 
hours when the Egyptian archers drove the allies from the field with 
immense loss. In accordance with the use of cavalry at this point in 
a battle in modern times, Merneptah now immediately threw in 
his chariotry in pursuit of the flying enemy, who were harried 
and decimated till they reached the ‘ Mount of the Horns of the 
Earth,’ as the Egyptians called the edge of the plateau on the 
west of the Delta into which they escaped. King Meryey had 
fled from the field as soon as he saw the action going against him. 
He made good his escape, but all his household furniture and 

1 In place of these merely conventional transcriptions of the (unvocalized) 
Egyptian names, there are others influenced by the identifications proposed 
for them; see below, p. 173, n. I, and pp. 275 sqq. 


his family fell into the hands of the Egyptians. The energetic 
pursuit resulted in a great slaughter and many prisoners. No less 
than nine thousand of the invaders fell, of whom at least one-third 
were among the maritime allies of the Libyans; and probably 
as many more were taken prisoner. Among the dead were six 
sons of the Libyan king. When the camp had been thoroughly 
looted its leathern tents were fired and the whole went up in 
smoke and flame. The booty was enormous : some nine thousand 
copper swords, and of weapons of ail sorts and similar equipment 
no less than over one hundred and twenty thousand pieces. 
Besides these there were the fine weapons and vessels in precious 
metal taken from the camp of the Libyan king’s household and 
chiefs, comprising over three thousand pieces. 

Returning in triumph, the army then marched to the royal 
residence bearing, laden upon asses, the hands and other trophies 
cut from the bodies of the slain. The booty and the trophies were 
brought beneath the palace balcony, where the king inspected 
them and showed himself to the rejoicing multitude. He then 
assembled the nobles in the great hall of the palace where he. 
harangued them. What was more important, there now came to 
him a letter from the commandant of one of the fortresses on the 
frontier of the western Delta, stating that the Libyan king had 
escaped past the Egyptian cordon in the darkness of the night, 
and adding information to the effect that the Libyans had 
repudiated and dethroned their discomfited king and chosen 
another in his place who was hostile to him and would fight him. 
It was evident therefore that the aggressive party in Libya had 
fallen and that no further trouble from that quarter, at least during 
the reign of Merneptah, need be apprehended. 

The intense relief evident in the exuberant triumph which 
followed this deliverance is significant of Egypt’s completely 
altered situation. No longer launching armies on distant campaigns 
of conquest, the Pharaohs were now engaged in a desperate 
struggle to maintain the home frontiers of the ancient kingdom. 
The constant plundering at the hands of Libyan hordes, which 
the people of the western Delta had endured for nearly a genera- 
tion, was now ended, and an intolerable situation was relieved. 
The people sang: ‘Great joy has come in Egypt, rejoicing comes 
forth from the towns of Tomeri (Egypt).... Sit happily down 
and talk or walk far out upon the way for there is no fear in the 
heart of the people. The strongholds are left to themselves, the 
wells are opened again. The messengers skirt the battlements of 
the walls, shaded from the sun, until their watchmen wake. The 


soldiers lie sleeping and the border-scouts are in the field (or not) 
as they desire. The herds of the field are left as cattle sent forth 
without a herdman, crossing at will the fullness of the stream. 
There is no uplifting of a shout in the night: “Stop! Behold one 
comes, one comes with the speech of strangers!” One comes and 
goes with singing, and there is no lamentation of mourning 
people. The towns are settled again anew; and as for one that 
ploweth his harvest, he shall eat of it. Re has turned himself to 
Egypt; he was born destined to be her protector, even the king 

The kings are overthrown, saying, ‘Salami’ 

Not one holds up his head among the Nine Nations of the Bow. 
Wasted is Tehenu, 

The Hittite land is pacified, 

Plundered is c the Canaan,’ with every evil, 

Carried off is Aslcalon, 

Seized upon is Gezer, 

Yenoam is made as a thing not existing. 

Israel is desolated, her seed is not, 

Palestine has become a (defenceless) widow for Egypt. 

All lands are united, they are pacified; 

Every one that is turbulent is bound by king Merneptah. 

Merneptah reigned at least five years longer, apparently en- 
joying profound peace in the north. He strengthened his Asiatic 
frontier with a fortress bearing his name, and in the south he quelled 
a rebellion in Nubia. The commonly accepted statement that 
toward the end of his reign a Syrian at court gained control of 
Merneptah and became regent is entirely without foundation and 
due to misunderstanding of the titles of Ben-’Ozen, the Syrian 
marshal of his court, to whom we have already referred. The 
long reign of Ramses II, with its prodigality in buildings, left 
Merneptah little means to gratify his own desires in this respect. 
Moreover, his days were numbered, and there was not time to 
hew from the quarries and transport the materials for such a 
temple as it had now become customary for each Pharaoh to erect 
at Thebes for his own mortuary service. Under these circum- 
stances, Merneptah had no hesitation in resorting to the most 
brutal destruction of the monuments of his ancestors. To obtain 
materials for his mortuary temple he made a quarry of the noble 
sanctuary of Amenhotep III on the western plain, barbarously 
tore down its walls and split up its superb statues to serve as 
blocks in his own building. Among other things thus appropriated 
was a magnificent black granite stela over ten feet high containing 
a record of the buildings of Amenhotep III. Merneptah’s scribes 


cut upon the back a hymn of victory over the Libyans, of which 
we have quoted the conclusion above, and with its face to the 
wall, he then erected it in his new building, where Petrie found 
it. It has become notable because it contains the earliest known 
reference to Israel (p. 320). Merneptah’s desecration of the great 
works of the earlier Pharaohs did not even spare those of his own 
fatherwho, it will be remembered, had set him a notorious example 
in this respect. Ramses II had the effrontery, after a lifetime of 
such vandalism, to record in his Abydos temple a long appeal to 
his descendants to respect his foundations and his monuments; but 
not even his own son showed them the respect which he craved. 
We find Merneptah’s name constantly on the monuments of his 

Merneptah passed away (1215 b.c.) after a reign of at least 
ten years and was buried at Thebes in the valley with his ancestors. 
His body has been found there — a discovery somewhat dis- 
concerting to those who held that, as the Pharaoh of the Israelite 
exodus, he must have been drowned in the Red Sea (see p. 356, 
n. 2). However much we may despise him for his desecration 
and shameful destruction of the greatest works of his ancestors, 
it must be admitted at the same time that, at an advanced age, 
when such responsibility must have sat heavily, he manfully met 
a grave crisis in the history of his country, which might have 
thrown it into the hands of a foreign dynasty. 

The death of Merneptah was the beginning of a conflict for 
the throne which lasted for many years. The laxity which had 
accompanied the long-continued rule of two old men gave ample 
opportunity for intrigue, conspiracy and the machinations of 
rival factions. Two pretenders were at first successful : Amenmeses 
and Merneptah-Siptah. The former was but an ephemeral usurper, 
who through some collateral line of the royal house perhaps 
possessed a distant claim to the throne. He was hostile to the 
memory of Merneptah; and his successor, Merneptah-Siptah, 
who quickly supplanted him, took possession of his monuments 
in turn, and destroyed his tomb in the western valley of Thebes. 
Nubia was now a fruitful source of hostility to the royal house. 
Like the Roman provinces in the days of that empire, Nubia 
offered a field, at a safe distance from the seat of power, where a 
sentiment against the ruling house and in favour of some pre- 
tender might be secretly encouraged without great danger of 
detection. It was perhaps in Nubia that Siptah gained the 
ascendancy. However this may be, we find him in his first year 
installing his viceroy there in person, and sending one of his 


adherents about distributing rewards there. By such methods 
and by marrying Tewosret, probably a princess of the old 
Pharaonic line, he succeeded in maintaining himself for at least 
six years during which the tribute from Nubia seems to have 
been regularly delivered, and the customary intercourse with the 
Syrian provinces maintained. 

The viceroy whom he appointed in Nubia was one Seti, who 
was now also, as already observed, ‘Governor of the Gold 
Country of Amon This brought him into intimate relations 
with the powerful priesthood of Amon at Thebes, and it is 

?mVr P0S ;) lb 5 f at - h n im P. r 7 ed * e opportunity of this inter- 
com se and of his influential position to do what Siptah had 

himself done in Nubia. In any case, when Siptah disappeared, 
a Seti succeeded him as second of that name. He was later re- 
garded as the sole legitimate king of the three who followed 
Merneptah. He seems to have ruled with some success, for he 
buflt a small temple at Karnak and another at Eshmunen- 
rlermopohs. He took possession of the tomb of Siptah and his 
queen, Tewosret although he was afterward able to excavate one 

B f h . 1S l f Se of pow . er was brief > the long uncurbed 
nobility, the hosts of mercenaries in the armies, the powerful 

priesthoods, , the numerous foreigners in positions of rank at 
court, ambitious pretenders and their adherents— all these 
aggressive and conflicting influences demanded for their control 
a strong hand and unusual qualities of statesmanship in the ruler. 
These qualities Seti II did not possess, and he fell a victim to 
conditions of almost insuperable difficulty* 

With the fall of Seti II, complete anarchy ensued. The whole 
country fell into the hands of the local nobles, chiefs and rulers 
of towns and remained so for many years. The nation must have 
been well .on toward dissolution into the petty kingdoms and 
principalities out of which it was consolidated at the dawn of 
mstory. Then came famine, with all the misery which the Arab 
historians later depict in their annals of similar periods under the 
Mameluk sultans m Egypt. Indeed, the record of this period left 
us by Ramses III m the great Papyrus Harris, in spite of its 
brevity, reads like a chapter from the rule of some Mameluk 
sultan of the fourteenth century. Profiting by the helplessness of 
the people and the preoccupation of the native rulers, one of those 
Syrians, who had held an official position at the court, seized the 

° r . at le ft tbe P ow f> and ruled in tyranny and violence. 
He set the whole land tributary before him together: he united 
his companions and plundered their possessions. They made the 




gods like men and no offerings were presented in the temples.’ 
Property-rights were therefore no longer respected and even the 
revenues of the temples were diverted. 

As in the later years of Ramses II the Libyans were not long 
in perceiving the helplessness of Egypt. Immigration across the 
western frontier of the Delta began again; plundering bands 
wandered among the towns from the vicinity of Memphis to the 
Mediterranean, or took possession of the fields and settled on 
both shores of the Canopic branch. At this juncture, about 1200 
b.c., there arose one Setnakht, a strong man of uncertain origin, 
but probably a descendant of the old line of Seti I and Ramses II; 
and although the land was beset with foes within and without, he 
possessed the qualities of organization and the statesmanship 
first to make good his claims against the innumerable local 
aspirants to the crown; and having subdued these, to restore 
power and organize the almost vanished state of the old Pharaohs. 

We shall readily understand that Setnakht’s arduous achieve- 
ment left him little time for monuments which might have 
perpetuated his memory. Indeed, he could not even find oppor- 
tunity to excavate for himself a tomb at Thebes; but seized that 
of Siptah and his queen, Tewosret, which had already been 
appropriated, but eventually not used, by Seti II. His reign must 
have been brief, for his highest date is his first year, scratched on 
the back of a leaf of papyrus by a scribe in trying his pen. Before 
he died (1198 B.c.) he named as his successor his son, Ramses, 
the third of the name, who had already been of assistance to him 
in the government. 

Although the old line was evidently already interrupted after 
Merneptah, Manetho begins a new dynasty, the XXth, with the 
Ramessid line, now headed by Ramses III. The new Pharaoh 
inherited a situation precisely like that which confronted Merne- 
ptah at his accession; but being a young and vigorous man, he 
was better able successfully to cope with it. He immediately 
perfected the organization for military service, dividing all the 
people into classes successively liable for such service. Since the 
native contingent was constantly shifting, as class after class 
passed through the army, the Pharaoh came more and more to 
depend upon the mercenaries as the permanent element in his 
army. A large proportion of the standing army, therefore, con- 
sisted of Sherden mercenaries as in the days of Ramses II, while 
a contingent of the Kehek, a Libyan tribe, was also in the ranks. 
In the west more serious developments had taken place since 
Merneptah’s Libyan war. The restless and turbulent peoples of 


the northern Mediterranean, whom the Egyptians designated 
‘the Peoples of the Sea,’ and whom we know as the Aegeans, were 
showing themselves in ever-increasing numbers in the south. 
Among these, two in particular whom we have not met before, 
the Thekel and the Peleset, were prominently aggressive 1 . The 
Peleset (Pulesati), better known as the Philistines of Hebrew 
history, were no doubt one of the early tribes of Crete, but the 
identity of the Thekel is much more uncertain (p. 283 n.). 
They were accompanied by contingents of Denyen (possibly 
Danai), Sherden, Weshesh and Shekelesh. Moving gradually 
southward in Syria, some of these immigrants had advanced 
perhaps as far as the upper waters of the Orontes and the king- 
dom of Amor; while the more venturesome of their ships were 
coasting along the Delta and stealing into the mouths of the 
rivers on plundering expeditions. They readily fell in with the 
plans of the Libyan leaders to invade and plunder the rich and 
fertile Delta. By land and water they advanced into the western 
Delta where Ramses promptly met them and gave them battle 
near a town called * Usermare-Meriamon (Ramses III) is chastiser 
of Temeh (Libya).’ This was in 1194 b.c. Their ships were de- 
stroyed or captured and their army beaten back with enormous 
loss. Over twelve thousand five hundred were slain upon the field 
and at least a thousand captives were taken. Of the killed a large 
proportion were from the ranks of the sea-rovers. There was the 
usual triumph at the royal residence, when the king viewed the 
captives and the trophies from the balcony of the palace, while 
his nobles rejoiced below. Amon, who had granted the great 
victory, did not fail to receive his accustomed sacrifice of living 
victims, and all Egypt rejoiced in restored security, such that, as 
Ramses boasted, a woman might walk abroad as far as she wished 
with her veil raised without fear of molestation. To strengthen 
his frontier against the Libyans Ramses now built a town and 
stronghold named after himself upon the western road where it 
left the Delta and passed westward into the desert plateau. It 
stood upon an elevated point known as the ‘ Mount of the Horns 
of the Earth,’ already mentioned by Merneptah in his war- 

The advanced galleys and the land-forces of the northern 

1 The initial consonant of Thekel is by some authorities represented by 
z; and, instead of employing es to make the consonants pronounceable, other 
scholars conjecturally vocalize differently. Thus Thekel appears otherwise 
as Zakkal or Zakaray, and Peleset as Pulesati (or the like); see p. 167, n. I. 
Certainty is at present unattainable. See further, chap. xir. 




maritime peoples which supported the Libyans against Ramses 
III in the year five were but the premonitory skirmish line of a 
far more serious advance, to which we have already adverted. It 
was now in full motion southward through Syria. Its hosts were 
approaching both by land . , with their families in curious, heavy, 
two-wheeled ox-carts, and by sea in a numerous fleet that skirted 
the Syrian coast. Well armed and skilled in warfare as the invaders 
were, the Syrian city-states were unable to withstand their onset. 
They overran all the Hittite country of northern Syria as far as 
Carchemish on the Euphrates, past Arvad on the Phoenician 
coast, and up the Orontes valley to the kingdom of Amor, which 
they devastated. The Syrian dominions of the Hittites must have 
been lost and the Hittite power in Syria completely broken. The 
fleet visited Alasa, and nowhere was an effective resistance 
offered them. ‘They came with fire, prepared before them, for- 
ward to Egypt. Their main support was Peleset, Thekel, Sheke- 
lesh, Denyen and Weshesh. These lands were united and they 
laid their hands upon the land as far as the circle of the earth.’ 
‘The countries, which came from their isles in the midst of the 
sea, they advanced to Egypt, their hearts relying upon their 
arms.’ In Amor they established a central camp and apparently 
halted for a time. Like a rising tide from the north, this great 
migration was threatening to overwhelm the Egyptian empire. 
We have seen its outermost waves breaking on the shores of the 
Delta — the heralds of the most formidable danger that had ever 
confronted the empire of the Pharaohs. 

With the greatest energy Ramses III fortified his Syrian fron- 
tier and rapidly gathered a fleet, which he distributed in the 
northern harbours. From his palace balcony he personally 
superintended the equipment of the infantry, and when all was 
in readiness he set out for Syria to lead the campaign himself. 
Where the land-battle took place we are unable to determine, but 
as the northerners had advanced to Amor, it was at most not 
farther north than that region. We learn nothing from the king’s 
records concerning it beyond vague and general statements of the 
defeat of the enemy, although in his reliefs we see his Sherden 
mercenaries breaking through the scattered lines of the enemy 
and plundering their ox-carts bearing their women and children 
and belongings. As there were Sherden among the invaders, the 
mercenaries were thus called upon to fight their own countrymen. 
The Pharaoh was also able to reach the scene of the naval battle, 
probably in one of the northern harbours on the coast of Phoenicia, 
early enough to participate in the action from the neighbouring 


shore (see p. 283 n.). He had manned his fleet with masses of the 
dreaded Egyptian archers, whose archery volleys were so effective 
that the ranks of the heavy-armed northerners were completely 
decimated before they could approach within boarding distance. 
These volleys of arrows from the Egyptian fleet were augmented 
by those of Egyptian archers whom Ramses stationed along the 
shore, he himself personally drawing his bow against the hostile 
fleet. As the Egyptians then advanced to board, the enemy’s ships 
were thrown into confusion. ‘Capsized and perishing in their 
places, their hearts are taken, their souls fly away, and their 
weapons are cast out upon the sea. His arrows pierce whomsoever 
he will among them, and he who is hit falls into the water.’ ‘They 
were dragged, overturned and laid low upon the beach; slain and 
made heaps from stern to bow of their galleys, while all their 
things were cast upon the waters, for a remembrance of Egypt.’ 
Those who escaped the fleet and swam ashore were captured by 
* the waiting Egyptians on the beach. In these two engagements 
the Pharaoh decisively broke the power of the northern invasion, 
and his suzerainty, at least as far north as Amor, could not be 
questioned by the invaders. To be sure they continued to arrive 
in Syria, but the double victory of Ramses III made these new 
settlers and their new settlements vassals of Egypt, paying tribute 
into the treasury of the Pharaoh. 

The Egyptian empire in Asia had again been saved and 
Ramses returned to his Delta residence to enjoy a well-earned 
triumph. The respite which his victory brought him, however, 
was very short; for another migration of the peoples in the far 
west caused an overflow which again threatened the Delta. The 
Meshwesh, a tribe living behind the Libyans, that is, on the west 
of them, were the cause of the trouble. The first victory over the 
Libyans in the year five was quite enough to quench any further 
desire on their part to repeat their attempt upon the Delta. But 
unfortunately the Meshwesh invaded the Libyan country and laid 
it waste, thus forcing the unfortunate Libyans into an alliance 
against Egypt. The leader of the movement was Meshesher, son 
of Keper, king of the Meshwesh, whose firm purpose was to 
migrate and settle in the Delta. ‘The hostile foe had taken 
counsel again to spend their lives in the confines of Egypt, that 
they might take the hills and plains as their own districts.’ ‘“We 
will settle in Egypt,” so spoke they with one accord, and they 
continuously entered the boundaries of Egypt.’ By the twelfth 
month in the king’s eleventh year they had begun the invasion, 
entering along the western road as in the time of Merneptah and 


investing the fortress of Hatsho, some eleven miles from the 
edge of the desert plateau. Ramses attacked them under the walls 
of Hatsho, from the ramparts of which the Egyptian garrison 
poured volleys of arrows into the ranks of the Meshwesh, already 
discomfited by the Pharaoh’s onset. The invaders were thus 
thrown into a disordered rout and received the volleys of another 
neighbouring stronghold as they fled. Ramses pressed the pursuit 
for eleven miles along the western road to the margin of the 
plateau, thus fairly driving the invaders out of the country. 
Meshesher, the chief of the Meshwesh, was slain and his father 
Keper was captured; two thousand one hundred and seventy-five 
of their followers fell, while two hundred and fifty-two, of whom 
over a fourth were females, were taken captive. 

Ramses tells of the disposition which he made of these captives : 

‘ I settled their leaders in strongholds in my name. I gave to them 
captains of archers and chief men of the tribes, branded and made 
into slaves, impressed with my name; their wives and their children * 
likewise.’ Nearly a thousand of the Meshwesh were assigned to the 
care of a temple-herd called ‘Ramses III is the Conqueror of the 
Meshwesh.’ Similarly he established in celebration of his victory 
an annual feast which he called in his temple calendar, ‘ Slaying of 
the Meshwesh’; and he assumed in his elaborate titulary after his 
name the epithets, ‘Protector of Egypt, Guardian of the Countries, 
Conqueror of the Meshwesh, Spoiler of the Land of Temeh.’ 
The western tribes had thus been hurled back from the borders 
of the Delta for the third successive time, and Ramses had no 
occasion to apprehend any further aggressions from that quarter. 
The expansive power of the Libyan peoples, although by no 
means exhausted, now no longer appeared in united national 
action; but, as they had done from prehistoric times, and like the 
northern barbarians who crossed the frontiers of the Roman empire, 
they continued to sift gradually into the Delta in scattered and 
desultory migration, not regarded by the Pharaoh as a source of 

Ramses soon found it necessary to appear again in Syria with 
his army. The limits and the course of the campaign are but 
obscurely hinted at in the meagre records now surviving. He 
stormed at least five strong cities, one of which was in Amor; 
another depicted in his reliefs as surrounded by water was perhaps 
Kadesh; a third, rising upon a hill, cannot be identified; and both 
of the remaining two, one of which was called Ereth, were de- 
fended by Hittites. He probably did not penetrate far into the 
Hittite territory, although its cities were rapidly falling away 


from the Hittite king and much weakened by the attacks of the 
sea-peoples. It was the last hostile passage between the Pharaoh 
and the Hittites; both empires were swiftly declining to their fall, 
and in the annals of Egypt we never again hear of the Hittites in 
Syria. Ramses places in his lists of conquered regions the cities 
of northern Syria to the Euphrates, including all that the empire 
had ever ruled in its greatest days. These lists however are largely 
copied from those of his great predecessors, and we can place no 
confidence in them. He now organized the Asiatic possessions 
of Egypt as stably as possible, the boundary very evidently not 
being any farther north than that of Merneptah, that is, just 
including the Amorite kingdom on the upper Orontes. To ensure 
the necessary stability he built new fortresses wherever advisable 
in Syria and Palestine. Somewhere in Syria he also erected a 
temple of Amon, containing a great image of the state god, before 
which the Asiatic dynasts were obliged to declare their fealty to 
Ramses by depositing their tribute in its presence every year. 
Communication with Syria was facilitated by the excavation of a 
great well in the desert of Ayan, east of the Delta, supplementing 
the watering-stations there established by Seti I. Only a revolt of 
the Bedouins of Seir interrupted the peaceful government of the 
Pharaoh in Asia from this time forth. 


The suppression of occasional disorders in Nubia caused no 
disturbance of the profound peace which now settled down upon 
the empire. Ramses himself depicts it thus : ‘ I made the woman 
of Egypt to go with uncovered ears to the place she desired, for 
no stranger, nor any one upon the road molested her. I made the 
infantry and chariotry to dwell at home in my time; the Sherden 
and the Kehek (mercenaries) were in their towns lying the length 
of their backs; they had no fear, for there was no enemy from 
Kush, nor foe from Syria. Their bows and their weapons reposed 
in their magazines, while they were satisfied and drunk with joy. 
Their wives were with them, their children at their side; they 
looked not behind them, but their hearts were confident, for 
I was with them as the defence and protection of their limbs. I 
sustained alive the whole land, whether foreigners, common folk, 
citizens or people male or female. I took a man out of his mis- 
fortune and I gave him breath. I rescued him from the oppressor 
who was of more account than he. I set each man in his security 
in their towns; I sustained alive others in the hall of petition. I 


settled the land in the place where it was laid waste. The land 
was well satisfied in my reign.’ The chief function of an oriental 
despotism, the collection of tribute and taxes, proceeded with the 
greatest regularity. ‘I taxed them for their impost every year,’ 
says Ramses III, ‘every town by its name gathered together 
bearing their tribute.’ 

As in the great days of the empire, intercourse and commerce 
with the outside world were now fostered by the Pharaohs. The 
temples of Amon, Re and Ptah had each its own fleet upon the 
Mediterranean or the Red Sea, transporting to the god’s treasury 
the products of Phoenicia, Syria and Punt. Ramses exploited the 
copper mines of Atika, a region somewhere in the Peninsula of 
Sinai, sending a special expedition thither in galleys from some 
Red Sea port. They returned with great quantities of the metal 
which the Pharaoh had displayed under the palace balcony that 
all the people might see it. To the malachite workings of the 
peninsula he likewise sent his messengers, who brought back ' 
plentiful returns of the costly mineral for the king’s splendid 
gifts to the gods. A more important expedition consisting of a 
fleet of large ships was sent on the long voyage to Punt. It would 
seem that the canal from the Nile through the Wadi Tumllat to 
the Red Sea was now stopped up and in disuse, for Ramses’ 
ships, after a successful voyage, returned to some harbour opposite 
Coptos, where the entire cargo of the fleet was disembarked, 
loaded on donkeys and brought overland to Coptos. Here it was 
re-embarked upon the river and floated down stream to Per- 
Ramses, the royal residence in the eastern Delta. Navigation was 
now perhaps on a larger and more elaborate scale even than under 
the great Pharaohs of the XVII Ith Dynasty. Ramses tells of a 
sacred barge of Amon at Thebes, which was two hundred and 
twenty-four feet long, built in his yards, of enormous timbers of 
cedar of Lebanon. 

Works of public utility and improvement were also included 
in the Pharaoh’s enterprises. Throughout the kingdom, and 
especially in Thebes and the royal residence, he planted numerous 
trees, which under a sky so prevailingly cloudless as that of Egypt, 
offered the people grateful shade in a land devoid of natural 
forests. He also resumed building, which had been at a standstill 
since the death of Ramses II. On the western plain of Thebes, at 
the point now called Medinet Habu, he built a large and splendid 
temple to Amon which he began early in his reign. As the temple 
was extended and enlarged from rear to front, the annals of his 
campaigns found place on the walls through successive years 


VIII, n] 

following the growth of the building, until the whole edifice 
became a vast record of the king’s achievements in war which the 
modern visitor may read, tracing it from year to year as he passes 
from the earliest halls in the rear to the latest courts and pylon 
at the front. Here he may see the hordes of the north in battle 
with Ramses’ Sherden mercenaries, who break through and 
plunder the heavy ox-carts of the invaders; and here the first 
naval battle on salt-water, of which we know anything, is depicted. 
In these reliefs we may study the armour, clothing, weapons, 
war-ships and equipment of these northern peoples with whose 
advent Europe for the first time emerges upon the stage of the 
early world. 

Before the temple there was a sacred lake with an elaborate 
garden, extensive out-buildings and magazines, a palace of the 
king with massive stone towers in connection with the temple- 
structure, and a wall around the whole forming a great com- 
plex which dominated the whole southern end of the western 
plain of Thebes, whence from the summit of its tall pylons 
one might look northward along the stately line of mortuary 
temples, built by the emperors. It thus formed, as it still does, 
the southern terminus and the last of that imposing array of 
buildings, and suggests to the thoughtful visitor the end of the 
long line of imperial Pharaohs, of whom Ramses III was indeed 
the last. Other buildings of his have for the most part perished. 
A temple of Amon at Karnak which Ramses, quite sensible of the 
hopelessness of any attempt to rival the vast Karnak halls, limited 
to very modest proportions, was placed awkwardly enough across 
the axis of the main temple there. In the residence city he laid 
out a magnificent quarter for Amon : ‘ it was furnished with large 
gardens and places for walking about, with all sorts of date-groves 
bearing their fruits, and a sacred avenue brightened with the 
flowers of every land.’ The quarter possessed nearly eight thou- 
sand slaves for its service. He also erected in the city a temple of 
Sutekh in the temenos of the temple of Ramses II. The art dis- 
played by these buildings, in so far as they have survived, is 
clearly in a decadent stage. The lines are heavy and indolent, the 
colonnades have none of the old time soaring vigour, springing 
from the pavement and carrying the beholder’s eyes involuntarily 
aloft; but they visibly labour under the burden imposed upon 
them and clearly express the sluggish spirit of the decadent 
architect who designed them. The work also is careless and 
slovenly in execution. The reliefs which cover the vast surfaces 
of the Medinet Habu temple are with few exceptions but weak 


imitations of the fine sculptures of Seti I at Karnak, badly drawn 
and executed without feeling. Only here and there do we find a 
flash of the old time power, as in the representation of Ramses 
hunting the wild bull on the walls of this same temple, a relief 
which, in spite of some bad faults in the drawing, is a composition 
of much strength and feeling, with a notable sense of landscape. 

The imitation so evident in the art of the time of Ramses III 
is characteristic of the time in all respects. The records of the 
reign are but weak repetitions of the earlier royal encomiums, 
embellished with figures so extremely far-fetched as to be often 
unintelligible. Taking up any given war, one finds that after 
working through difficult inscriptions covering several thousand 
square feet of wall surface at Medinet Habu, the net result is 
but a meagre and bald account of a great campaign the facts of 
which are scattered here and there and buried so deeply beneath 
scores of meaningless conventional phrases that they can be dis- 
covered only with the greatest industry. The inspiring figure of 
a young and active Pharaoh hurrying his armies from frontier to 
frontier of his empire and repeatedly hurling back the most 
formidable invasions Egypt had ever suffered, awoke no response 
in the conventional soul of the priestly scribe, whose lot it was to 
write the record of these things for the temple wall. He possessed 
only the worn and long-spent currency of the older dynasties 
from which he drew hymns, songs and lists to be furbished up 
and made to do service again in perpetuating the glory of a really 
able and heroic ruler. Perhaps we should not complain of the 
scribe, for the king himself considered it his highest purpose to 
restore and reproduce the times of Ramses II. His own name 
was made up of the first half of the throne-name of Ramses II 
and the second half of his personal name; he named his children 
and his horses after those of Ramses II, and like him, he was 
followed on his campaigns by a tame lion which trotted beside 
his chariot on the march. 

All immediate danger from without had now apparently dis- 
appeared, but the nation was slowly declining as a result of decay 
from within. While Ramses III had shown himself fully able to 
cope with the assaults from the outside, he was entirely unable to 
offer any effective opposition to the prevailing tendencies of the 
time within the state. This was especially evident in his attitude 
toward the religious conditions inherited from the XVIIIth 
Dynasty, but especially noticeable in the XIXth. Setnakht, his 
father, gained the throne by conciliating the priesthoods, as so 
many of his successful predecessors had done. We are unable to 


discern that Ramses III made any effort to shake off the priestly 
influences with which the crown was thus encumbered. The 
temples were fast becoming a grave political and economic 
menace. In the face of this fact Ramses continued the policy of 
his ancestors, and with the most lavish liberality poured the 
wealth of the royal house into the sacred coffers. He himself says : 
‘ I did mighty deeds and benefactions, a numerous multitude, for 
the gods and goddesses of South and North. I wrought upon 
their images in the gold-houses, I built that which had fallen to 
ruin in their temples. I made houses and temples in their courts; 
I planted for them groves; I dug for them lakes; I founded for 
them divine offerings of barley and wheat, wine, incense, fruit, 
cattle and fowl; I built the (chapels called) “Shadows of Re” for 
their districts, abiding, with divine offerings for every day.’ He is 
here speaking of the smaller temples of the country, while for 
the three great gods of the land, Amon, Re and Ptah, he did 
vastly more. 

The opulent splendour with which the rituals of these gods 
were daily observed beggars description. ‘ I made for thee,’ 
says Ramses to Amon, ‘a great sacrificial tablet of silver in 
hammered work, mounted with fine gold, the inlay figures being 
of Ketem-gold, bearing statues of the king of gold in hammered 
work, even an offering tablet bearing thy divine offerings, offered 
before thee. I made for thee a great vase-stand for thy forecourt, 
mounted with fine gold, with inlay of stone; its vases were of gold, 
containing wine and beer in order to present them to thee every 

morning I made for thee great tablets of gold, in beaten 

work, engraved with the great name of thy majesty, bearing my 
prayers. I made for thee other tablets of silver, in beaten work, 
engraved with the great name of thy majesty, with the decrees of 
thy house.’ All that the god used was of the same richness; 
Ramses says of his sacred barge : * I hewed for thee thy august 
ship “Userhet,” of one hundred and thirty cubits [nearly two 
hundred and twenty-four feet long] upon the river, of great 
cedars of the royal domain of remarkable size, overlaid with fine 
gold to the water line, like a barque of the Sun, when he comes 
from the east, and every one lives at the sight of him. A great 
shrine was in the midst of it, of fine gold, with inlay of every 
costly stone like a palace; ram’s heads of gold from front to rear, 
fitted with uraeus-serpents wearing crowns.’ In making the great 
temple-balances for weighing the offerings to Re at Heliopolis 
nearly two hundred and twelve pounds of gold and four hundred 
and sixty-one pounds of silver were consumed. The reader may 


peruse pages of such descriptions in the great Papyrus Harris, of 
which we shall later give some account. Such magnificence, while 
it might frequently be due to incidental gifts of the king, must 
nevertheless be supported by an enormous income, derived from 
a vast fortune in lands, slaves and revenues. Thus, to the god 
Khnum at Elephantine, Ramses confirmed the possession of both 
sides of the river from that city to Takompso, a strip over seventy 
miles in length, known to the Greeks as the ‘Dodekaschoinos,’ 
or Twelve Schoeni (roods). 

The records of Ramses III, for the first and only time in the 
course of Egyptian history, enable us to determine the total 
amount of property owned and controlled by the temples. An 
inventory in the Papyrus Plarris covering almost all the temples 
of the country shows that they possessed over one hundred and 
seven thousand slaves; that is, one person in every fifty to eighty 
of the population was temple property. The first figure is the 
more probable, so that in all likelihood one person in every fifty 
was a slave of some temple. The temples thus owned two per cent, 
of the population. In lands we find the sacred endowments 
amounting to nearly three-quarters of a million acres, that is, 
nearly one-seventh, or over fourteen-and-a-half per cent, of the 
cultivable land of the country; and as some of the smaller temples, 
like that of Khnum just mentioned, are omitted in the inventory, 
it is safe to say that the total holdings of the temples amounted 
to fifteen per cent, of the available land of the country. These 
are the only items in the temple-estates which can be safely com- 
pared with the total national wealth and resources; but they by 
no means complete the list of property held by the temples. They 
owned nearly half-a-million head of large and small cattle; their 
combined fleets numbered eighty-eight vessels, some fifty-three 
workshops and shipyards consumed a portion of the raw materials, 
which they received as income; while in Syria, Kush and Egypt 
they owned in all one hundred and sixty-nine towns. In a land of 
less than ten thousand square miles and some five or six million 
inhabitants, all this vast property was entirely exempt from 
taxation; and this fact made the wealth of the priesthoods an 
economic menace. 

This unhealthy situation was aggravated by the fact that no 
proper proportion had been observed in the distribution of gifts 
to the gods. The lion’s share of them had fallen to the lot of 
Amon, whose insatiable priesthood had so gained the ascendancy 
that their claims on the royal treasury far exceeded those of all 
other temples put together. Besides the great group of temples at 


Thebes, the god possessed numerous other sanctuaries, chapels 
and statues, with their endowments scattered throughout the 
land. He had a temple in Syria, as we have already noticed, and 
a new one in Nubia, besides those built there by Ramses II. In 
his twelfth year, after the victorious conclusion of all his wars, the 
finally-completed temple which he had erected for Amon at 
Medinet Habu (Thebes) was inaugurated with a new and 
elaborate calendar of feasts, the record of which filled all one wall 
of the temple for almost its entire length. The feast of Opet, the 
greatest of Anion’s feasts, which in the days of Thutmose III 
was eleven days long, is credited in this calendar with twenty-four 
days; and summarizing the calendar as far as preserved, we find 
that there was an annual feast day of Amon on an average every 
three days, not counting the monthly feasts. Yet Ramses III later 
lengthened even the feasts of this calendar, so that the feast of 
Opet became twenty-seven days long and the feast of his own 
coronation, which lasted but one day as prescribed by the calendar, 
finally continued for twenty days each year. Little wonder that 
the records of a band of workmen in the Theban necropolis under 
one of his successors shows almost as many holidays as working 
days. All these lengthened feasts of course meant increased en- 
dowment and revenue for the service of Amon. The treasure 
rooms of this Medinet Habu temple still stand, and their walls 
bear testimony to the lavish wealth with which they were filled. 
Ramses himself in another record says: ‘I filled its treasury with 
the products of the land of Egypt : gold, silver, every costly stone 
by the hundred-thousand. Its granary was overflowing with 
barley and wheat; its lands, its herds, their multitudes were like 
the sand of the shore. I taxed for it the Southland as well as the 
Northland; Nubia and Syria came to it, bearing their impost. It 
was filled with captives, which thou gavest me among the Nine 
Bows, and with classes (successive enforced levies), which I 

created by the ten-thousand I multiplied the divine offerings 

presented before thee, of bread, wine, beer and fat geese ; numerous 
oxen, bullocks, calves, cows, white oryxes and gazelles offered in 
his slaughter yard.’ As in the days of the XVIIIth Dynasty con- 
querors, the bulk of the spoil from his wars went into the treasury 
of Amon. 

The result of this long-continued policy was inevitable. Of the 
nearly three-quarters of a million acres of land held by the temples, 
Amon owned over five hundred and eighty-three thousand, over 
five times as much as his nearest competitor, Re of Heliopolis, 
who had only one hundred and eight thousand; and over nine 


times the landed estate of Ptah of Memphis. Of the fifteen per 
cent, of the lands of the entire country held by all the temples, 
Amon thus owned over two-thirds. While, as we have stated, the 
combined temples owned in slaves not more than two per cent, 
of the whole population, Amon held probably one-and-a-half 
per cent., in number over eighty-six thousand five hundred, 
which exceeded by seven times the number owned by Re. In 
other items of wealth, like herds, gardens and groves, towns, 
ships, workshops and income in gold and silver, the same pro- 
portion is observable. Amon’s estate and revenues, second only 
to those of the king, now assumed an important economic role in 
the state, and the political power, wielded by a community of 
priests who controlled such vast wealth, threatened to rival that 
of the Pharaoh. Without compromising with it and continually 
conciliating it, no Pharaoh could have ruled long, although the 
current conclusion that the gradual usurpation of power and final 
assumption of the throne by the High Priest of Amon was due . 
solely to the wealth of Amon is not supported by our results. 
Other forces contributed largely to this result, as we shall see. 
Among these was the gradual extension of Amon’s influence to 
the other temples and their fortunes. His high priest had in the 
XVIIIth Dynasty become head of all the priesthoods of Egypt; 
in the XIXth Dynasty he had gained hereditary hold upon his 
office; his Theban temple now became the sacerdotal capital, 
where the records of the other temples were kept; his priesthood 
was given more or less supervision over their administration, and 
the combined economic power of organized religion in this great 
state was finally controlled by the High Priest of Amon alone. 

That Ramses III was solely or even chiefly responsible for 
these conditions is a common, but a mistaken, conclusion. How- 
ever lavish his contributions to the sacerdotal wealth, they never 
could have raised it to the proportions which we have indicated. 
This is as true of the fortune of Amon in particular as of the 
temple wealth in general. The gift of over seventy miles of 
Nubian Nile shores (the Dodecaschoenus) to Khnum by the king 
was but the confirmation by him of an old title; and the enormous 
endowments enumerated in the great Papyrus Harris, long sup- 
posed to be the gifts of Ramses, are but inventories of the old 
sacerdotal estates, in the possession of which the temples are 
merely confirmed by him. The situation in which Ramses found 
himself was an inherited situation, created by the prodigal gifts 
of the XVIIIth and XIXth Dynasties, beginning at least as far 
back as Thutmose III, who presented three towns in Syria to 


VIII, n] 


Amon. It was generations of this policy, with its resulting vast 
accumulations of temple-wealth, which made even an able ruler 
like Ramses unable to oppose the insatiable priesthoods long- 
accustomed to the gratification of unlimited exactions. Yet his 
treasury must have sorely felt the drain upon it, with its 
income gradually shrinking, while the demands upon it nowise 
relaxed. Although we know that payments from the government 
treasury were as slow in ancient, as they have been until recently 
in modern Egypt, yet, making all due allowance for this fact, it 
can hardly be an accident that in the reign of Ramses we 
can follow the painful struggles of a band of necropolis workmen 
in their endeavours to secure the monthly fifty sacks of grain due 
them. Month after month they are obliged to resort to the 
extremest measures, climbing the necropolis wall and, driven by 
hunger, threatening to storm the very granary itself if food is not 
given them. Told by the vizier himself that there was nothing in 
the treasury, or deceived by the glib promises of some intermediate 
scribe, they would return to their daily task only to find starvation 
forcing them to throw down their work and to gather with cries 
and tumult at the office of their superior, demanding their monthly 
rations. Thus, while the store-houses of the gods were groaning 
with plenty, the poor in the employ of the state were starving at 
the door of an empty treasury. 

At this dangerous crisis the Pharaoh’s power lay exclusively 
in his army and great bodies of foreign slaves of the crown. 
Against the powerful priestly coteries these foreign slaves were 
the only forces which Ramses III and his contemporaries could 
bring into play. Branded with the name of the king, these 
foreigners were poured into the ranks of the army in large num- 
bers, augmenting the voluntary service of the foreign mercenaries 
already there. The armies with which Ramses beat off the assail- 
ants of his empire were, as we have already remarked, largely 
made up of foreigners; and their numbers constantly increased 
as the Pharaoh found himself less and less able to maintain the 
mastery in a situation of ever-increasing difficulty and complica- 
tion. He was soon forced also to surround his own person with 
numbers of these foreign slaves. A class of personal attendants, 
already known in the Middle Kingdom by a term which we may 
best translate as ‘butler,’ originally rendered service to the table 
and larder of the nobles or the king. These slaves in Ramses’ 
service were largely natives of Syria, Asia Minor and Libya, 
especially Syria, and as the king found them more and more useful, 
they gradually, although only slaves, gained high office in the 



state and at the court. It was a situation precisely like that at the 
court of the Egyptian sultans of the Middle Ages. Of eleven 
such ‘butlers’ known to us in the royal service five were foreigners 
in places of power and influence, and we shall soon have occasion 
to observe the prominent role they played at a fatal crisis in his 
reign. While all was outwardly splendour and tranquillity, and 
the whole nation was celebrating the king who had saved the 
empire, the forces of decay which had for generations been 
slowly gathering in the state were rapidly reaching the acute 
stage. An insatiable and insidious priesthood commanding 
enormous wealth, a foreign army ready to serve the master who 
paid the most liberally, and a personal following of alien slaves 
whose fidelity likewise depended entirely upon the immediate 
gain in view — these were the factors which Ramses was con- 
stantly forced to manipulate and employ, each against the others. 
Add to these the host of royal relatives and dependents, who were 
perhaps of all the most dangerous element in the situation, and 
we shall not wonder at the outcome. The first discernible illustra- 
tion of the danger inherent in the unhealthy situation is the 
revolt of Ramses’ vizier, who shut himself up in the Delta city of 
Athribis. But he had miscalculated the power at his command; 
the place was taken by Ramses and the revolt suppressed. Peace 
and outward tranquillity were again restored. As the time for the 
celebration of the king’s thirty-year jubilee approached, elaborate 
preparations were made for its commemoration. He sent the new 
vizier, Ta, southward in the year twenty-nine to collect the pro- 
cessional images of all the gods who participated in a celebration 
of the usual splendour at Memphis. 

Something over a year after this stately commemoration a more 
serious crisis developed. The harem, the source of so many 
attempts against the throne, was the origin of the trouble. A 
queen in the royal harem, named Tiy, began furtive efforts to 
secure for her son, Pentewere, the crown, which had been 
promised to another prince. A plot against the old king’s life was 
rapidly formed, and Tiy enlisted as her chief coadjutors a number 
of important personages whose service at court brought them near 
the Pharaoh’s person. Six wives of the officers of the harem gate 
were also won to the enterprise, and they proved very useful in 
the transmission of messages from inmates of the harem to their 
relatives and friends outside. Among these inmates was the sister 
of the commander of archers in Nubia, who smuggled out a letter 
to her brother and thus gained his support. All was ripe for a 
revolt outside the palace, intended to accompany the murder of 


the king and enable the conspirators the more easily to seize the 
government and place their pretender, Pentewere, on the throne. 
At this juncture the king’s party gained full information of the 
conspiracy, the attempt on his life was foiled, the plans for revolt 
were checkmated, and the people involved in the treason were all 
seized. The old Pharaoh, sorely shaken by the ordeal, and 
possibly suffering bodily injury from the attempted assassination, 
immediately appointed a special court for the trial of the con- 
spirators. The very words of the commission empowering this 
court indicate his probable consciousness that he would not long 
survive the shock, while at the same time they lay upon the judges 
a responsibility for impartial justice on the merits of the case, 
with a judicial-mindedness which is remarkable in an oriental 
despot who held the lives of the accused in his unchallenged 
power and who had himself just been the victim of a murderous 
assault at their hands. See p. 212. 

Of the fourteen officials of the court thus commissioned, seven 
were royal ‘butlers,’ and among these were a Libyan, a Lycian, 
a Syrian named Mahar-baal (‘Baal hastens’), and another 
foreigner, probably from Asia Minor. We see how largely the 
Pharaoh depended in his extremity upon the purchased fidelity 
of these foreign slaves. The flaccid character of the judges and 
the dangerous persistence of the accused is shown by a remarkable 
incident which followed the appointment of the court. Some of 
the women conspirators, led by a general compromised in the 
plot, gained such influence over the two bailiffs in charge of the 
prisoners, that the bailiffs were prevailed upon to go with the 
general and the women to the houses of two of the judges, who, 
with amazing indiscretion, received and caroused with them. 
These two indiscreet judges, with one of their colleagues, who 
was really innocent, and the two bailiffs, were immediately put on 
trial. The innocence of the third judge was made evident and he 
was acquitted, but the others were found guilty, and were sentenced 
to have their ears and noses cut off. Immediately following the 
execution of the sentence, one of the unfortunate judges com- 
mitted suicide. Thereupon the trials of the conspirators continued 
with regularity, and from the records of three, different prosecu- 
tions we are able to trace the conviction of thirty-two officials of 
all ranks including the unhappy young pretender himself, who 
was doubtless only an unfortunate tool, and the audacious general 
who had compromised the two judges. The records of the trial 
of queen Tiy herself are not preserved, so that we cannot deter- 
mine her fate, but we have no reason to suppose that it was better 


than that of all the others who, as ordered by the king, were 
allowed to take their own lives. The old king survived but a short 
time after this unhappy experience, and having celebrated a 
second jubilee, while the prosecution of his would-be assassins 
was still going on, he passed away (1167 b.c.), having ruled 
thirty-one years and forty days. 


The death of Ramses III was the beginning of the final cata- 
strophe in the slow decline of the Egyptian empire. It introduced 
a long line of nine weaklings all of whom bore the great name of 
Ramses, and under them the world power of the Pharaohs rapidly 
disappeared. We see Ramses IV, the son of Ramses III, struggling 
feebly with the hopeless situation which he had inherited. Imme- 
diately on his accession the new king prepared, in his own behalf 
and that of his father, one of the most remarkable documents 
which has reached us from the civilization of ancient Egypt. In 
order that his father might prosper among the gods and that he 
himself might gain the benefit of his father’s favour among them, 
the young king compiled for burial with the departed Pharaoh a 
list of the deceased king’s good works. It contained an enormous 
inventory of the gifts of Ramses III to the chief divinities of the 
nation, besides a statement of his achievements in war and of his 
benefactions toward the people of his empire. All this recorded 
on papyrus formed a huge roll one hundred and thirty feet long 
containing one hundred and seventeen columns about twelve 
inches high. It is now called Papyrus Harris, and is the largest 
document which has descended to us from the early Orient. 
Accompanied by this extraordinary statement of his benefactions 
toward gods and men, Ramses III was laid in his tomb, in the 
lonely Valley of the Kings. Of its efficacy in securing him un- 
limited favour with the gods there could be no doubt; and it 
contained so many prayers uttered by Ramses III on behalf of 
his son and successor that the gods, unable to resist the appeals 
of the favourite to whom they owed so much, would certainly 
grant his son a long reign. Indeed it is clear that this motive was 
the leading one in the production of the document. It was char- 
acteristic of this decadent age that the Pharaoh should be more 
dependent upon such means for the maintenance of his power 
than upon his own strong arm, and the huge papyrus thus 
becomes a significant sign of the times. With fair promises of a 
long reign the priesthoods were extorting from the impotent 


Pharaoh all that they demanded, while he was satisfied with the 
assured favour of the gods. The sources of that virile political 
life that had sprung up with the expulsion of the Hyksos 
were now exhausted. Indeed, as we have before indicated, the 
state was rapidly moving toward a condition in which its chief 
function would be religious and sacerdotal, and the assumption 
of royal power by the High Priest of Amon but a very natural 
and easy transition. Naturally the only notable work of Ramses IV, 
of which we know, is a quarry enterprise for the benefit of the 
gods. After an inglorious reign of six years he was succeeded in 
1 161 B.c. by the fifth Ramses, probably his son. The exploitation 
of the mines of Sinai now ceased, and the last Pharaonic name 
found there is that of Ramses IV. In quick succession these feeble 
Ramessids now followed each other; after a few years a collateral 
line of the family gained the throne in the person of a usurper, 
probably a grandson of Ramses III, who became Ramses VI, 
having succeeded in supplanting the son of Ramses V. The 
seventh and eighth Ramses quickly followed. They all excavated 
tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but we know nothing of their 
deeds. Now and again the obscurity lifts, and we catch fleeting 
glimpses of a great state tottering to its fall. 

From the close of the reign of Ramses III to the first years of 
Ramses IX (1142 b.c.), only some twenty-five or thirty years 
elapsed, and the same High Priest at el-Kab who had assisted in 
the celebration of the jubilee of Ramses III was still in office 
under Ramses IX. Likewise the High Priest of Amon at Thebes 
under Ramses IX, Amenhotep, was the son of the high priest 
Ramsesnakht, who held the office under Ramses III and IV. The 
high priesthood of Amon, which had at least once descended from 
father to son in the XIXth Dynasty, had now become permanently 
hereditary, and while it was passing from the hands of Ramsesnakht 
to his son Amenhotep, with a single uninterrupted transmission of 
authority, six feeble Ramessids had succeeded each other, with 
ever-lessening power and prestige, as each struggled for a brief 
time to maintain himself upon a precarious throne. 

Meanwhile, Amenhotep, the High Priest of Amon, flourished. 
He sumptuously restored the refectory and kitchen of the priests in 
the temple of his god at Karnak, built about ten centuries before 
by Senusret I. We see the crafty priest manipulating the pliant 
Pharaoh as he pleases, and obtaining every honour at his hands. 
In his tenth year Ramses IX summoned Amenhotep to the great 
forecourt of the Amon-temple, where, in the presence of the high- 
priest’s political associates and supporters, the king presented 
him with a gorgeous array of gold and silver vessels, with costly 




decorations, and precious ointments. The days when such dis- 
tinctions were the reward of valour on the battle-field of Syria 
were long passed; and skill in priestcraft was the surest guarantee 
of preferment. As the king delivered the rich gifts to the high- 
priest he accompanied them with words of praise such that one 
is in doubt whether they are delivered by the sovereign to the 
subject or by the subject to his lord. At the same time he informs 
Amenhotep that certain revenues formerly paid to the Pharaoh 
shall now be rendered to the treasury of Amon; and, although 
the king’s words are not entirely clear, it would seem that all 
revenues levied by the king’s treasury but later intended for the 
treasury of the god, shall now be collected directly by the scribes 
of the temple, thus putting the temple to a certain extent in the 
place of the state. 

All these honours were twice recorded by Amenhotep, 
together with a record of his buildings on the walls of the 
Karnak temple. Both the records of his gifts and honours 
are accompanied each by a large relief showing Amenhotep 
receiving his gifts from the king, and displaying his figure in the 
same heroic stature as that of the king — an unprecedented 
liberty, to which no official had ever before in the history of 
Egypt dared to presume. In all such scenes from time immemorial 
the official appearing before the king had been represented as a 
pigmy before the towering figure of the Pharaoh; but the High 
Priest of Amon was now rapidly growing to measure his stature 
with that of the Pharaoh himself, both on the temple wall and in 
the affairs of government. He had a body of temple-troops at his 
command, and as he gathered the sinews of the state into his 
fingers, gradually gaining control of the treasury, as we have 
seen, he did not hesitate to measure his strength with the Pharaoh. 

Thebes was now rapidly declining; it had been forsaken as a 
royal residence by the Pharaohs two hundred years before, but it 
continued to be the burial-place of all the royal dead. There had 
thus been gathered in its necropolis a great mass of wealth in the 
form of splendid regalia adorning the royal bodies. In the lonely 
Valley of the Kings’ Tombs, deep in the heart of the cliffs, 
slept the great emperors, decked in all the magnificence which the 
wealth of Asia had brought them; and now again, as at the close 
of the XVIIIth Dynasty, their degenerate descendants, far from 
maintaining the empire which they had won, were not even 
able to protect their bodies from destruction. In the sixteenth 
year of Ramses IX the royal tombs of the plain before the western 
cliffs were found to have been attacked; one of them, that of 
Sebekemsaf, of the XHIth Dynasty, had been robbed of all its 


mortuary furniture and his royal body and that of his queen 
violated for the sake of their costly ornaments. Although the 
authors of this deed were captured and prosecuted, the investiga- 
tion shows sinister traces that the officials engaged in it were not 
altogether disinterested. Three years later, when Ramses IX had 
made his son, Ramses X, co-regent with himself, six men were 
convicted of robbing the tombs of Seti I and Ramses II, showing 
that the emboldened robbers had now left the plain and entered 
the cliff-tombs of the valley behind. Ramses II, who had himself 
despoiled the pyramid of Sesostris II at Illahun, was now receiving 
similar treatment at the hands of his descendants. The tomb of 
one of Seti Fs queens followed next, and then that of the great 
Amenhotep III. Within a generation, as the work of plunder 
continued, all the bodies of Egypt’s kings and emperors buried at 
Thebes were despoiled, and of the whole line of Pharaohs begin- 
ning from the XVIIIth to the end of the XXth Dynasty, only 
one body, that of Amenhotep II, has been found still lying in its 
own sarcophagus; although it had by no means escaped spoliation. 
Thus, while the tombs of the Egyptian emperors at Thebes were 
being ransacked, and their bodies rifled and dishonoured, the 
empire which they conquered had crumbled to ruin. 

At the accession of the last Ramses (r 1 18 B.c.)we can discern the 
culmination of the tendencies which we have been endeavouring 
to trace. Before he had been reigning five years a local noble at 
Tanis named Nesubenebded, the Smendes of the Greeks, had 
absorbed the entire Delta and made himself king of the north. 
No longer commanding the undivided resources of Upper Egypt, 
which he might otherwise have employed against Nesubenebded, 
there was now nothing for the impotent Pharaoh to do but to 
retire to Thebes — if this transfer had not indeed already occurred 
before this — where he still maintained his precarious throne. 
Thebes was thus cut off from the sea and the commerce of Asia 
and Europe by a hostile kingdom in the Delta, and its wealth 
and power still more rapidly declined. The High Priest of Amon 
was now virtually at the head of a Theban principality, which was 
gradually becoming more and more a distinct political unit. 
Together with this powerful priestly rival, the Pharaoh continued 
to hold Nubia. 

Long before the revolution which resulted in the independence 
of the Delta, the impotence of the Ramessids was discerned and 
understood in Syria. The Thekel and Peleset-Philistines, whose 
invasion Ramses III had for a time halted, had continued to 
arrive in Syria, as we have stated (p. 17 5). Seventy-five years after 
Ramses III had beaten them into submission, the Thekel were 


already established as an independent kingdom at Dor, just 
south of the seaward end of Carmel. As we do not find them 
mentioned in the surviving records of the Israelites, we may 
assume that they were merged with the Philistines. Continually 
replenished with new arrivals by sea, these hardy and warlike 
wanderers from the far north could not have paid tribute to the 
Pharaoh very long after the death of Ramses III (1167 b.c.). 
In the reign of Ramses IX (1 142-1123 b.c.), or about that time, 
a body of Egyptian envoys were detained at Byblus by the local 
dynast for seventeen years; and, unable to return, they at last died 
there. The Syrian princes, among whom Ramses III had built a 
temple to Amon, to which they brought their yearly tribute, were 
thus indifferent to the power of Egypt within twenty or twenty-five 
years after his death. 

Under Ramses XII (or rather, XI), these same conditions in 
Syria are vividly portrayed in the report of an Egyptian envoy 
thither. In response to an oracle, Wenamon, the envoy in question, 
was dispatched to Byblus, at the foot of Lebanon, to procure 
cedar for the sacred barque of Amon. To pay for the timber, 
Hrihor, the High Priest of Amon, was able to give him only a 
pitiful sum in gold and silver. As Wenamon was obliged to pass 
through the territory of Nesubenebded, who now ruled the Delta, 
Hrihor supplied him with letters to the Delta prince, and in this 
way secured for him passage in a ship commanded by a Syrian 
captain. Nothing more unmistakably betrays the decadent con- 
dition of Egypt than the humiliating state of this unhappy envoy, 
dispatched without ships, with no credentials, with but a beggarly 
pittance to offer for the timber desired, and only the memory of 
Egypt’s former greatness with which to impress the prince of 
Byblus. Stopping at Dor on the voyage out, Wenamon was 
robbed of the little money he had, and was unable to secure any 
satisfaction from Bedel, the Thekel prince of that city. After 
waiting in despair for nine days, he departed for Byblus by way 
of Tyre, having on the way somehow succeeded in seizing from 
certain Thekel people a bag of silver as security for his loss at 
Dor. He finally arrived in safety at Byblus, where Zakar-baal, the 
prince of the city, would not even receive him, but ordered him 
to leave. Such was the state of an Egyptian envoy in Phoenicia, 
within fifty or sixty years of the death of Ramses III. Finally, as 
the despairing Wenamon was about to take passage back to 
Egypt, one of the noble youths in attendance upon Zakar-baal 
was seized with a divine frenzy, and in prophetic ecstasy demanded 
that Wenamon be summoned, honourably treated and dismissed. 


This, the oldest known example of Palestinian prophecy in its 
earlier form, thus secured for Wenamon an interview with Zakar- 

The unhappy Egyptian’s extraordinary report says: ‘I found 
him sitting in his upper chamber, leaning his back against a 
window, while the waves of the great Syrian sea were beating 
against the shore behind him.’ In the remarkable negotiations 
which followed, the Phoenician prince quite readily admitted the 
debt of culture which his land owed Egypt as a source of civiliza- 
tion, saying: ‘(I admit that) Amon equips all lands; he equips 
them, having first equipped the land of Egypt, whence thou 
comest. For artisan ship came forth from it to reach my place of 
abode; and teaching came forth from it to reach my place of 
abode.’ At the same time he contemptuously repudiated all 
political responsibility to the ruler of Egypt, whom he never 
called Pharaoh, except in referring to a former sovereign. To 
make good his case his secretaries brought out their books to 
show that for generations the Pharaohs had liberally paid for the 
timber furnished them. The situation is clear. A burst of military 
enthusiasm and a line of able rulers had enabled Egypt to assume 
for several centuries an imperial position, which her unwarlike 
people were not by nature adapted to occupy; and their impotent 
descendants, no longer equal to their imperial role , were now 
appealing to the days of splendour with an almost pathetic futility. 
It is characteristic of the time that this appeal should assume a 
religious or even theological form, as Wenamon boldly proclaims 
Amon’s dominion over Lebanon, where the Phoenician princes 
had, only two generations before, worshipped and paid tribute at 
the temple of Amon, erected by Ramses III. With oracles and 
an image of Amon that conferred ‘life and health,’ the Egyptian 
envoy sought to make his bargain with the contemptuous 
Phoenician for timber which a Thutmose III or a Seti I had 
demanded with his legions behind him. It was only when Wen- 
amon’s messenger, whom he had meantime dispatched to Egypt, 
returned with a few vessels of silver and gold, some fine linen, 
papyrus rolls, ox-hides, coils of cordage, and the like, that the 
Phoenician ruler ordered his men to cut the desired logs; although 
he had sent some of the heavier timbers for the hull of the barge 
in advance, as an evidence of his good faith. 

As Wenamon was about to depart with his timber, some eight 
months after he had left Thebes, Zakar-baal told him of the fate 
of the Egyptian envoys of a former reign who had been detained 
seventeen years and had ultimately died in Byblus. With grim 

e. a. h, 11 



humour he even offered to have Wenamon taken and shown their 
tombs — a privilege which the frightened envoy declined. Pro- 
mising the prince the payment of the balance due him, Wenamon 
at last proceeded to embark. Escaping with the Phoenician prince’s 
aid from a fleet of Thekel pirates hovering in the offing, he was cast 
byastorm on the shores of Alasa (? Cyprus). At this point his report 
breaks off, and the conclusion is lost; but here again, in Alashiya, 
whose king was practically his vassal, whom the Pharaoh had 
been wont to call to account for piracy in the old days of splendour 
(p. 98), we find the representative of Egypt barely able to save 
his life. This unique and instructive report of Wenamon, there- 
fore, reveals to us the complete collapse of Egyptian prestige 
abroad and shows with what appalling swiftness the dominant 
state in the Mediterranean basin had declined under the weak 
successors of Ramses III. When Tiglath-pileser I appeared in 
the west about 1100 b . c ., a Pharaoh, who was probably Nesu- 
benebded, feeling his exposed position in the Delta, deemed it 
wise to propitiate the Assyrian with a gift, and sent him a crocodile 
(p. 251). Thus all Egyptian power in Syria had utterly vanished, 
while in Palestine a fiction of traditional sovereignty, totally with- 
out practical political significance, was maintained at the Pharaoh’s 

For the conditions at Thebes there was meanwhile but one 
possible issue. The messenger who procured the timber for the 
sacred barge of Amon was no longer dispatched by the Pharaoh, 
but as we have seen, by the High Priest of Amon, Hrihor. The 
next year he had gained sufficient control of the royal necropolis 
at Thebes to send his people thither to re-wrap and properly 
re-inter the bodies of Seti I and Ramses II, which had been 
violated and robbed in the first year of Ramses X. The temple of 
Khonsu, left with only the holy of holies and the rear chambers 
finished since the time of Ramses III, was now completed with a 
colonnaded hall preceded by a court and pylon. The walls of 
these new additions bear significant evidence of the transition 
which was now going on in the Egyptian state. In the new hall 
the official dedications on the architraves, attributing the building 
to Ramses XI, are strictly in accordance with the conventional 
form, customary since the Old Kingdom. But around the base 
of the walls are words which have never been found in a Pharaonic 
temple before; we read: ‘High Priest of Amon-Re, king of gods, 
commander in chief of the armies of the South and North, the 
leader, Hrihor, triumphant; he made it as his monument for 
“Khonsu in Thebes, Beautiful Rest”; making for him a temple 


for the first time, in the likeness of the horizon of heaven ’ 

That the commander-in-chief of the armies of the south and 
north was the real builder of the hall we can hardly doubt. Like 
the shadowy caliph, whom the Egyptian sultans brought from 
Baghdad to Cairo, and maintained for a time there, so the un- 
fortunate Ramses XI had been brought from his Delta residence 
to Thebes, that the conventionalities of the old Pharaonic 
tradition might still be continued. Already at the close of the 
XIXth Dynasty we recall that Amon had gained possession of 
the Nubian gold-country; the high priest had now gone a step 
further and seized the whole of the great province of the Upper 
Nile, making himself ‘viceroy of Kush.’ He had likewise become 
‘overseer of the double granary,’ who, as grain was always 
Egypt’s chief source of wealth, was the most important fiscal 
officer in the state, next to the chief treasurer himself. There was 
now nothing left in the way of authority and power for the high 
priest to absorb; he was commander of all the armies, viceroy of 
Kush, held the treasury in his hands, and executed the buildings 
of the gods. When the fiction of the last Ramessid’s official 
existence had been maintained for at least twenty-seven years the 
final assumption of the high priest’s supreme position seems to 
have been confirmed by an oracle of Khonsu, followed by the 
approval of Amon. It was recorded in an inscription, very frag- 
mentary and obscure, engraved on the door through which the 
modern visitor passes from the inner hall bearing the name of 
both Hrihor and Ramses XI, to the outer court, built by Hrihor, 
where the shadowy Pharaoh vanishes, and the high priest’s name, 
preceded by the Pharaonic titles and enclosed in the royal car- 
touche, at last appears alone. 

The military leadership of the ancient oriental world, which 
had normally been held by Asia, especially as we see it in the 
rule of the Hyksos, had as a result of their overthrow, passed to 
Egypt, which maintained it vigorously for nearly two centuries. 
With the death of Amenhotep III military supremacy was passing 
rapidly back to Asia, whence it had come. In the course of the 
XHIth century, especially after the wars of Ramses II, the 
leadership of the ancient nations, as expressed in terms of power, 
had finally and decisively shifted to Asia. On the other hand, as 
expressed in terms of culture and civilization , the leadership which 
Egypt had gained and held from the rise of the earliest civilization 
in the fourth millennium before Christ, she continued to hold, 
and maintained her civilized supremacy until the leadership of 
the early world passed finally to Greece in the sixth century b.c. 




I N chap, ix of the first volume the discussion of Egyptian life, 
religion and literature was brought down to the end of the 
Middle Kingdom. The years which followed this, and which 
constitute the so-called Later Intermediate Period, were full of 
events of tragic significance for Egypt. Of the internal confusion 
of those days, and of the invasion of the Hyksos we know next 
to nothing, but when light again breaks on the darkness we find 
ourselves face to face with new conditions which vitally affect 
religion and every other aspect of life. 

Once more a great Theban family has reduced chaos to order 
and united Egypt under its sway. But the old order has changed. 
Of the feudal system scarce a vestige remains, and its place has 
been taken by a state organization for ruling, administering 
justice and collecting revenues, which is directly under the control 
of the king through his vizier or viziers. This naturally brings 
into existence a vast body of major and minor officials, all of 
whom enjoy a certain standing in the state by virtue of their 
office. Now it has been explained in a previous chapter that the 
Egyptian mortuary cult, together with the hereafter which it in- 
volved, was in origin probably the privilege of kings alone, 
though, during the later days of the Old Kingdom and during 
the Middle Kingdom which succeeded, it had gradually been 
extended to the local chiefs and even to their underlings. The rise 
of the new official class in the XVIIIth Dynasty completed this 
process, which has been well termed the ‘democratization of 
Osirianism,’ Osiris having by this time become the god of the 
dead far excellence. It will be part of our task to trace the precise 
form which this process took, 

, In addition to this a still more important change had taken 
place. In the Middle Kingdom individual kings had subjected 
Nubia and made successful raids into Asia. But the conception of 
an Egyptian empire which should include both Nubia and 
Nearer Asia does not seem to have existed. The founders of the 


XVIIIth Dynasty in their pursuit of the defeated Hyksos had 
advanced into southern Palestine. Their successors continued the 
conquest thus begun, and the result was the Asiatic empire of 
Thutmose III, lost by Ikhnaton and regained, in part at least, 
by Ramses II. These conquests stimulated the national con- 
sciousness in a manner hitherto unknown. The state-gods of 
Egypt became those of the known universe, and in this way there 
grew up a tendency to universal monotheism which culminated 
in the so-called heresy of Ikhnaton, doomed to failure perhaps 
only because its appearance was premature. This too we shall 
discuss, together with the question of what impression, if any, it 
made on the orthodox religion when this came to be restored. 

Just as in the earlier periods,, so also in the New Empire, our 
main body of religious texts is of a purely funerary character. 
This is doubtless due in some measure to the fact that fate has 
preserved for us the contents of tombs much more often than 
those of houses or temples. As the Old Kingdom had its Pyramid 
Texts and the Middle Kingdom its Coffin Texts, so the New 
Empire has its Book of the Dead. The term is a modern one and 
is a misnomer, as is also the name ‘The Egyptian Bible’ some- 
times conferred on these texts. The truth is that the Egyptians 
themselves knew of no ‘book,’ but that there were current among 
them large numbers of spells or recitations, selections from which 
were combined on rolls of papyrus and placed in the tombs. No 
two rolls contain the same selection, and while some of those 
found in the tombs of the rich are over yo feet long and contain 
as many as 1 30 spells, those found in the less magnificent tombs 
are often but a few feet in length and include only a few of the 
more vital sections. The funerary papyri of the New Empire 
which are known to us mainly come from the neighbourhood of 
Thebes, and it is therefore customary to regard the collection of 
over 160 spells drawn from these as constituting a ‘Theban re- 
cension’ of the Book of the Dead. Certain favourite groups of the 
more important of these spells were entitled by the Thebans ‘ The 
spells for ascending by day,’ but for the collection as a whole the 
Egyptians had no name. A Sa'ite recension, mainly known from 
a magnificent papyrus at Turin, contains a few chapters not known 
to the Theban version. 

With the exception of a few hymns to Re and Osiris the 
contents of the Book of the Dead consist of charms and spells 
calculated to protect the deceased against the numerous perils of 
life in the hereafter. A comparison with the medical and magical 
papyri shows at once that there is no essential difference between 


the spells used in ordinary life to avert disease and danger and 
those believed to be efficacious in the next world. We shall meet 
shortly with an excellent example of this. The names of a few of 
the spells will give a good idea of the contents of the rolls. Chapter 
5 is a spell for preventing a man from being forced to work in 
the necropolis; Chapter 29 a spell for preventing a man’s heart 
from being taken from him in the necropolis; Chapter 33 a spell 
for driving away the snake; Chapter 44 a spell for preventing a 
second death in the necropolis; Chapter 50 a spell by which a 
man may avoid entering in to the divine slaughter-block; Chapter 
76 a spell for assuming any form one may wish to assume; 
Chapter 99 a spell for bringing the ferry-boat; Chapter 12 5 a 
spell for entering into the Broad Hall of Justice. 

An important feature of the Book of the Dead consists in the 
illustrations or vignettes by which the texts are accompanied. 
These vary in detail from one roll to another, but the consistency 
observed is sufficient to show that their general lines were dictated 
by a powerful tradition. Like the spells themselves the illustrations 
which accompanied them had a magical value which served to 
increase the efficacy of the spells. 

The texts are often obscure and difficult to translate. In origin 
they owe very little to the Pyramid Texts, but are under con- 
siderable obligations to the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom, 
and further discoveries of Middle Kingdom material may show 
us that the obligation is even greater than at present appears. It 
is clear, however, that much of what was taken over from earlier 
times was sadly misunderstood. In these cases one of two things 
happened; either a garbled and miscopied version was preserved, 
which is unintelligible except in those cases where we have the 
original version before us, or else the obscure passages were 
modified or reconstructed in such a way as to make them in- 
telligible in the light of the theological ideas of the time, though 
in many cases the sense thus given was far different from that 
intended by the original composer. Confusion was worse con- 
founded, moreover, by the fact that in some cases parallel texts 
of slightly different tenour existed, and the priestly scribes in 
their anxiety to lose nothing generally combined these in a single 
text, often with disastrous results. It thus came about that many 
texts already difficult and obscure in Middle Kingdom times 
became in the Book of the Dead little more than a monstrous 
jumble of phrases. 

A few examples will, however, be more striking than any 
further description, and for this purpose we shall choose spells 29, 


99 and 125. Spell 29 is a ‘Spell to prevent a man’s heart from 
being taken from him in the necropolis.’ So far as its obscurities 
permit of a translation it runs as follows: ‘O messenger of 
all the gods, art thou come to take away this my heart of the 
living. This my heart of the living shall not be given to thee. 
Begone! The gods have heard my offerings; they fall on their 
faces. . . ’ (rest unintelligible). Now it has not escaped the notice 
of some writers that this spell is of precisely the same type as 
those used for parallel purposes in the living world. In a papyrus 
known as the ‘Charms for Mother and Child’ (Papyrus Berlin 
3027) the demons who may cause various diseases in children are 
warded off by the mother by means of charms of various kinds 
chosen from the animal, vegetable and mineral worlds, together 
with spells sometimes spoken over such charms. In one of the 
spells the demon is thus addressed : * Art thou come to harm this 
child? I will not suffer thee to harm him. Art thou come to take 
him ? I will not suffer thee to take him from me.’ From this it is 
obvious that Chapter 29 of the Book of the Dead is nothing more 
or less than an application to the life hereafter of the ordinary 
Egyptian hike , ‘magic power,’ or however else we choose to 
translate it. The ethical significance of this fact, which is clearly 
of great importance, is a subject to which we shall return later. 

For the moment we must return to our second example, 
Chapter 99. This, besides being, as is clear from its frequency in 
the papyri, an important chapter, is particularly suitable for our 
present purpose in that it has lately been published (by Grapow) 
in such a way as to show the Middle Kingdom and the New 
Empire versions side by side, and in that a portion of it has been 
subjected to an acute analysis by Sethe with a view to determining 
its structure and history. In fact it is the sole text from the Book 
of the Dead on which the full light of modern scholarship has as 
yet been turned. 

The New Kingdom version of the chapter consists partly of a 
series of phrases in the following form: ‘Tell me my name, says 
the mooring-peg. Mistress of the Two Lands in the Shrines is 
thy name.’ Each part of the equipment of the ferry-boat asks the 
dead man to declare its name, and to each he replies with some 
complicated title drawn from Egyptian theology, the suitability 
of which to the particular object, if indeed there be any, we are 
usually unable to perceive. The point is clearly that the various 
parts of the boat will only perform their functions for the de- 
ceased if he enjoys that magic power over them which a know- 
ledge of their hidden names alone can give, and the spell was 


buried with him in order that when called upon for these names 
he might have them at hand. 

Even more interesting than the name-spell is the so-called 
introduction which in some cases accompanies it. This, which at 
first sight is virtually unintelligible, has been shown (by Sethe) 
to be a combination and attempted reconciliation of four different 
texts. The first, which consists of a summons to an unnamed 
ferryman to bring over the boat in which the dead are ferried to 
the east side of the sky, is derived from the Pyramid Texts. The 
second is a much longer summons to one Turn-face, who in the 
Pyramid Texts figured as the ferryman, but who in our text is 
besought, not to bring the boat himself, but to awaken for this 
purpose another ferryman called Aken. Despite the subordinate 
and merely intermediate role which is here assigned to Turn-face, 
he is represented as asking the questions and making the usual 
excuses on the grounds of the loss of certain essential parts of 
his boat, just as though he were the ferryman himself. This is 
clearly a text in which Turn-face originally played the part of 
ferryman, but which has lost its original form owing to the 
influence of the fourth text shortly to be described. The third 
text contains a similar but obviously independent set of questions 
and answers, having no connection with the boat, between the 
dead man, who is addressed as a magician, and a being who 
meets him on his approach to the sky. This being is, by way of 
reconciliation with the second text in its original form, called 
Turn-face, though he is clearly no ferryman, and is merely re- 
quested to wake Aken. In the fourth text Aken himself is besought 
to bring over the boat. Like Turn-face in the second text, he 
excuses himself on the ground that the equipment of his boat is 
incomplete, and on the other hand, like the unnamed being in 
the third text, he addresses the deceased as magician and speaks 
to him with considerable respect. Thus the text as it has come 
down in Chapter 99 consists of four separate elements set side 
by side, not each in its original consistent form, but with altera- 
tions due to the desire to reconcile one with the other, resulting 
in a mass of inconsistency and absurdity. 

The importance of this piece of analysis is that it shows how 
strong was the desire in the Egyptian mind to lose nothing of 
what religious tradition had handed down, even when the com- 
bination of various versions led to inconsistency, and it further 
proves how little value was attached to the actual meaning of the 
texts, unintelligibility appearing to detract in no wise from their 
magical value. 

IX, X] 

magic and morals 

. 201 

undoubtedly Chapteffar^forV K n ** B °? ° f the Dead is 
tent, and brings us fzcJ’Jf C ° n ! lderabI e ethical con- 

Egyptian thoufht and religion^thTreladon ' l? 1 ^ P ^-? X ° f 
magical power— 1 mana ’ n T’ relation of ethics to hike, or 

chapter which, thou ff h it m a kSV2 anthro Pological term. This 

of the XVIIIth Dvfastv k . • ! firS r a PP earance in the middle 

the Broad Hall of TustiV^ ’ Tk . ntltled opell for entering into 

Psychostasia or weighing ofThe .ofl”' wSTT* s °- called 
ornamented with flames of Are a ’i"" 0 a ka whose roof is 
the symbols of righ ”ou S nLf si £ with feathars . 

canopy. With hinfare l“Xd ! ^ * 
four sons of Horns T n rk,=. k i P 1 and ln some cases the 

judges or ass.SoTforty-^oh1SX d “V“ the «° ds > as 
with the number of theMmes of Envoi’ ? er f apS , t0 co f res P° nd 
with the heart of the deceased in ™ Pt 1 f j° nt a , re the scaIes 
• feather, the sign of justice or rtekf 6 pan a , nd in tbe otber the 

the actual opfratiol of wethg ““f ?M” ukis Pl over 
gods, stands bv with ^„ T g ’ d Thoth > the scribe of the 

o g the; prSXurTi„ a te Pa S £ I'T ^ ^ ^ 
crocodile in front lion in fU mj, e 1S , , a . c °mposite monster, 

who stands ready’ to devour the'dosd ^ hl PP 0 Pu tam us behind, 
the scales be unfLouabTe to hfm d ^ the '" rdi “ » f 

assfgt? fo° O g siris 7 in 'T "T TV° " oti “ the P°* d °» 

found but obscure hint of T 1“ ^ Ki "g d °u> we 

undoubted reference to Osiris as^h^r^ 2r the . dead ’ and no 
Dynasty we fiiid Ae the XVIIIth 

popularized Osiris dominates the fT & 1Sded ’ and tbe now Eilly 
The text which 1 the funerary aspect of religion. 

formed by thelxVposSofr ‘ S a com P° site one 

somewhaf simda^conte^^^ 2 ° Pdlfferent <*&» but of 

‘Declarations of Wen J^fr ^ ^ and the shorter 

doxical name of the ‘Negative 6 CW 7 . kno f n b 7 the para- 

sWrofthetwocSsiste^SMS^^^^ ° lder and 

later and longer 5 Certain defi «te sins. The 

qualities rather than evil deeds and ftTh^ ^ demak of evil 
the number of denials to fJL f d * ^ same t3me mcr eases 
assessors. ° fort D two > to suit the number of 

complIS'lketch^f 1 ^ a p t0 - egard these two Iists as giving a 



a comparison of the two, on the assumption, probably not in- 
correct, that they are in origin of different dates. The lists should 
be regarded as purely conventional in composition; corruption 
may have considerably altered their original form, and we are at 
liberty to say no more than that the actions mentioned in them 
were regarded as sinful by the Egyptians of this period. 

And here lies the paradox to which allusion has been made 
above. The chapter embodies an ethical belief, namely that 
happiness in the future life is dependent on morality in this life. 
Yet the very chapter itself is nothing more or less than a spell 
which enables the dead man to avoid the consequences of the 
judgment by a knowledge of the right words to say and the right 
sins to repudiate. Nay, the matter is even cruder than this, for it 
is not necessary that he should actually know these things by 
heart, but merely that a papyrus roll on which they are inscribed 
should be laid beside him in the tomb (see pp. 51, 197). How 
are we to explain this inconsistency? 

The answer is that there is no explanation. In dealing with the 
earlier periods we found that the Egyptian exhibited a wonderful 
capacity for holding two inconsistent beliefs at one and the same 
* time. In the Middle Kingdom the moral consciousness had 
awakened and the idea had grown up that future happiness was 
in some way or other dependent on present virtue. This must 
have been to many people, as indeed it still is, a most unattractive 
doctrine, but a simple means of avoiding its logical consequences 
lay to hand. By virtue of the action of hike the mere verbal re- 
pudiation of sins in the prescribed manner was just as effective 
as actual innocence, indeed even the mere possession of a papyrus 
containing such a repudiation would suffice (see vol. 1, p. 354 sq.). 
And let it not be thought that the two beliefs, that in the necessity 
of innocence, and that in the all-powerfulness of hike , were held 
by different individuals or different classes of persons. Chapter 
125 is in itself an indubitable proof that both views were com- 
bined. The best we can believe of the Egyptian is that he really 
thought that virtue, and perhaps virtue alone, would procure him 
happiness in the future life, but that he also had the comfortable 
feeling that if the standard of his conduct was not sufficiently 
high he might yet be saved by the agency of the spells of hike. 
And yet it would be difficult to support this view by documentary 

The consequences of this invasion of the funerary realm by 
hike need hardly be pointed out. The priests and their scribes, in 
whose hands the collections of spells lay, were provided with a 

* .. «* ! 


means of acquiring wealth and influence which they did not fail 
to utilize to the utmost, and it is not impossible that the increased 
power of the priesthood thus obtained was a circumstance which 
precipitated, if it did not actually cause, the religious revolution 
of Ikhnaton. 

But we must now turn from Osiris-worship and the cult of the 
dead to the religion of the state. In the Middle Kingdom the 
Sun-god Re, syncretized with Horus, the falcon-god, under the 
form Re-Horus-of-the-Horizon, had, at Thebes the original home 
of the ruling family, been combined with the local god Amon. 
Since the kings of the XVIIIth Dynasty were also of Theban 
origin this combination had suffered no change at the beginning 
of the Dynasty. Suddenly, however, in the reign of Amenhotep IV 
or, as he later styled himself, Ikhnaton, we find ourselves face to 
face with a complete change, for the king and his court are 
entirely given up to what seems to be a true monotheistic worship 
of the sun-god in a new form. No event in Egyptian history has 
appealed more strongly to the modern world than this so-called 
‘ heresy of Ikhnaton.’ The king himself has been hailed as the 
‘ first individual in history’ (cf. p. 127*7.), ar *d there are those 
who have seen in his ideas an anticipation of much that is of 
value in Christianity. Although we do not as yet know as much 
as we should wish about the ‘reformer,’ it is becoming more 
and more apparent that the reform was not a mere momentary 
excrescence on the body of Egyptian religion, as some have 
supposed it to be. However much influence we may attribute 
to the personality of Ikhnaton himself, it remains true that the 
development was in a very great measure the outcome of gradually 
changing conditions, and, as such, unavoidable; though in other 
hands it might have taken a less extreme and hence perhaps more 
permanent form. 

It has already been pointed out that the XVIIIth Dynasty, and 
more especially the reign of Thutmose III, saw the rise of the 
conception of an Egyptian world-empire, embracing both Nubia 
and Syria, and thus constituting a very considerable fraction of 
the known world. The sun-god, as state-god of Egypt, had 
hitherto held no sway outside Egypt itself, and, though the pious 
might regard him as the creator of Egypt, it had doubtless never 
occurred to them that he had also created the world at large. 
Now, however, Re had carried the victorious Egyptian arms over 
‘all that the sun’s disk embraces,’ to use the Egyptians’ own 
term, and he had thus become a world-god instead of merely the 


local god of Egypt. How far the Egyptian nation at large felt 
this it would be difficult to say, but there can be no doubt that in 
the minds of the more thoughtful it was not overlooked. Thus 
the ground was prepared, or appeared to be, for an attempt at a 
universal religion with the sun-god for its chief, if not its only 

There was another factor which affected the situation. We have 
seen how the power of the priesthood in general had been 
strengthened by the ever-increasing encroachment of hike , or 
magic power, upon the funerary world. Nowhere was this gain in 
influence so astonishing as in the case of the priesthood of Amon 
of Thebes. Under the form of Amon-Re-Horus-of-the-Horizon 
this god received the lion’s share of the booty brought from Asia 
by the victorious Egyptian kings, and his temples became more 
and more wealthy in gold, silver, and precious stones, in cattle 
and herds, and in Syrian slaves. Many writers have been so much 
struck by this that they have interpreted the ‘reformation’ of 
Ikhnaton as little more than an attempt to break away by means 
of a change in religion from a tradition which placed in the hands 
of the priests of Amon a power which was beginning seriously to 
clog and confine the liberty of the sovereign. There may be a 
measure of truth in this point of view, but it is right to insist that 
it is only an inference, and that, while nothing in contemporary 
records contradicts it, so also there is nothing to prove it. The 
fact is that what rendered the religious revolution of Ikhnaton 
possible was a complex of causes the most important of which 
were the tendency towards a wider conception of religion due to 
the expansion of Egypt, the desire of the kingship to rid itself of 
the limitations imposed on it by the over-powerful priesthood of 
Amon, and the accession to the throne of a peculiar genius in the 
person of Ikhnaton. 

The bare facts of the case are simple enough and have been 
already related (chap. vi). They may be briefly summed up as 
follows. In the sixth (possibly even the fourth) year of his reign, 
Amenhotep IV, still a youth of less than twenty years of age, if 
we may believe the evidence of his mummy, transferred his 
capital from Thebes to the district now known as el-Amarna, 
300 miles farther downstream, where he founded the city of 
Akhetaton, ‘Horizon of the Disk,’ at or about the same time 
changing his name from Amenhotep, ‘Amon is satisfied,’ to 
Akhenaton (or Ikhnaton), ‘The Disk is pleased’ (p. x 13). Here 
he proceeded to devote himself with his court to the worship of 
the sun-god under the name of ‘ Horus-of-the-horizon, rejoicing 


in his horizon, in his name of Shu-who-is-in-the-disk.’ The new 
religion lasted little more than a dozen years. At the end of 
this time Ikhnaton died, and, after attempts by two ephemeral 
successors to carry on the system, the cult of Amon was re-estab- 
lished, the court returned to Thebes, and the city of Akhetaton 
fell into ruin. 

Up to a few years ago it was customary to believe that this 
entire movement was a product of the brain of Ikhnaton and that 
there had been no foreshadowing of it in earlier years. This we 
now know to be incorrect. An inscribed block of stone found 
re-used in the pylon of Harmhab at Karnak shows a figure of the 
sun-god in the traditional form of the falcon-headed Horus 
accompanied by the full name ‘ Horus-of-the-horizon, rejoicing 
in his horizon, in his name of Shu-who-is-in-the-disk.’ The 
cartouches of the king who stands before the god are those 
of Ikhnaton, but a close examination has shown that they have 
been altered in antiquity from those of his father Amenhotep III. 
The significance of this is considerable. There must have been 
already in Thebes in the reign of Amenhotep III a temple of the 
sun-god under the name previously supposed to have been given 
to him by Ikhnaton himself. In form, however, the deity was 
still represented as a falcon-headed god instead of in the guise of 
a disk giving forth rays ending in human hands, a guise which 
became usual and invariable early in Ikhnaton’s reign. 

This is undoubtedly the greatest discovery which has been 
made for many years in regard to the Aton-worship. It throws 
the origins of Ikhnaton’s ‘heresy’ back to the reign of his pre- 
decessor on the throne, though whether they go back still further 
is disputed (p. 114, n. 1). It is precisely this fact that makes it 
now necessary to see in the movement not merely the personal 
influence of an original genius, but also the inevitable product of 
the conditions of the time. Having traced the beginnings of the 
movement back to the reign of Amenhotep III, we need not be 
surprised at finding in a hymn to the sun-god dedicated by two 
brothers, architects of this king, a very close anticipation of 
Ikhnaton’s hymn to the disk, in which the universality of the 
sun’s sway in the world is already recognized. 

Ikhnaton, then, found the movement already in being, and by 
giving it a more definite content and form, and devoting his time 
to it to the exclusion of the claims of his kingdom in Egypt and 
his empire in Asia, now threatened with destruction by Hittites 
and Habiru, turned it, as it were, on to an unprofitable side-track, 
where it could only come to a standstill. 


What exactly was the nature of the cult as practised by the 
king and his court? It seems to have been more contemplative 
than practical, and nothing has struck the moderns as more 
astonishing in the Disk-hymns than their total lack of ethical 
content. At the same time Ikhnaton cannot be deprived of the 
credit of having approached very close to the conception of a 
universal monotheism. Some have tried to deny him this credit. 
It is true that the occurrence in the hymns of such words as 
‘Sole god beside whom there is none other’ proves nothing, this 
phrase being used quite impartially of various deities in poly- 
theistic Egypt. It is true that Ikhnaton himself, up to his fifth 
year at least, had not abandoned all the gods of Egypt. It is true 
that while on many old monuments his agents chiselled out even 
the word for ‘gods,’ yet on others the names of various gods 
remained unerased. Nevertheless in Akhetaton there is no sign 
that any god other than the Aton or Disk was worshipped. The 
reference to the burial of the Mnevis bull at Akhetaton dates 
from as early as the sixth year, and is merely a sign of attempted 
compromise with the priesthood of Heliopolis, the centre of 
sun-worship from time immemorial. The retention of the ‘Two 
Goddesses’ name in the royal titulary is a piece of formal con- 
servatism which proves nothing whatever; in the oft-quoted 
references to the Nile in the hymns the river appears not as a 
god but merely as a river, and finally the claim that Ikhnaton was 
no monotheist because he called himself the Good God (like every 
other Egyptian king) and the ‘Child of the Disk,’ and allowed 
himself to be worshipped, has more subtilty than sense in it. 

The reformer undoubtedly aimed at monotheism, though the 
extreme conservatism of the country he ruled may have forced 
him to make some formal and unimportant concessions to poly- 
theism. In the sense that he worshipped the sun he did not 
introduce a new religion, for sun-worship had been for centuries 
the state-cult. He did not even reject the names Re and Horus, 
both ancient titles of the sun-deity. We know so little of the true 
nature of the sun-cult of Heliopolis that we cannot attempt to 
say how far he accepted this and how far he modified it. 

To what extent he succeeded in impressing his cult upon the 
people at large we are not yet in a position to judge. Future 
excavation and a proper study of the material already available 
may do much to enlighten us on this point. It is, however, clear 
that in regard to the funerary cult some concessions to custom 
were made. Canopic vases, ushabti-figuxes (p. 51) and heart-scarabs 
continued to be used, and the tomb-walls at el-Amarna still show 


the traditional scene of the farewell to the dead and the cutting 
off of the leg of a live calf. 

Side by side with the revolution in religion went a revolution 
in art. At the time of writing a fierce controversy rages in Ger- 
many as to whether the now well-known artistic style of Ikhnaton 
began immediately at his accession, or whether there was a short 
period at the beginning of his reign when the normal Egyptian 
style with its rigid conventions was still followed. The decision 
of this question, though interesting to the specialist, is hardly 
likely to throw much light on the main problems of the reforma- 
tion. What is important to realize is that not later than the sixth 
year of the reign a new and freer style of art was in use. This 
naturally did not arise out of nothing, and we may surmise that 
the king, finding in some particular artist or school of artists new 
tendencies in art which would serve to differentiate the new 
religion more strongly than ever from the old, encouraged the 
new school by placing the state contracts in its hands, and making 
its style the official style of Akhetaton and perhaps of all Egypt. 
See pp. 120, 41 1 sqq. 

Why did Ikhnaton’s attempt fail? It failed for two reasons. In 
the first place it lacked that spirit of compromise with the estab- 
lished religion which was an indispensable condition of successful 
change in Egypt. That the sun-god should be worshipped under 
a new name and a new form was in itself little or nothing; but 
that Amon should be suppressed, his temples lie idle and his name 
be erased from the monuments was more than Egypt had stood 
or would stand (see p. 126). In the second place, the movement 
failed because the new religion was of a purely contemplative 
chatfScter, absorbing its votaries to the exclusion of all other 
employments whether political or diplomatic. While Ikhnaton 
and his court were singing hymns to the sun an empire was being 
lost to Egypt in Asia, and we have but to read the great decree 
of Harmhab, the first king of the restored religion, to realize the 
extent to which Egypt had become disorganized internally during 
the heresy. 

It is generally said that the revolution left no mark on Egyptian 
religion. This may be almost literally true. It is difficult to find 
in the later developments of religion any feature which could 
possibly be derived from theAton-worship. At the same time, unless 
we know more of the inner meaning of the cult, we are hardly 
in a position to identify its possible effects. On the other hand, 
it must be pointed out that there is evidence of the existence of a 
new element in the religion of the XIXth Dynasty which, it may 


be urged, can hardly have been inspired by anything in the Aton- 
worship. For many years there have been known a number of 
votive and memorial stelae, mostly found at Thebes, the humility 
of whose dedicators stands out in strong contrast to the self 
satisfaction typical of the Egyptian worshipper. The most famous 
of these is a stela now at Berlin, dedicated to Amon by a certain 
draughtsman, Nebre, and his son Pay, as a thank-offering for the 
recovery from illness of Nekhtamon, also a son of Nebre. The 
following quotations will give a good idea of the whole : 

Beware of him (Amon), repeat his name to son and to daughter, to vreat 
and small. Deckre him to generations and to generations, to those that are 
not yet born Tell of him to the fishes in the stream and the birds in the 
air. Repeat his name to him who knows him not and to him who knows 

f K™'J e Ti re ° f him T - T J°, U art Amon, the lord of him who is silent, coming at 
the call of the poor. I called to thee when I was in trouble, and thou didst come 
and didst save me; thou didst give breath to the poor and didst rescue me who 
was in bondage . . . I made for him praises to his name because of the greatness 
of his might I cried Lord of the poor’ before him in the presence of the 
whole land for the draughtsman Nebamon when he lay sick and about to 
die, being in the power of Amon because of his sin.. .'.While the servant 
was wont to sin yet was the Lord wont to be gracious. The Lord of Thebes 

spends not a who e day in wrath. His anger lasts but for a moment and there 
is nought remaining. ' 

What a contrast is this to the formal Declaration of Innocence 
m the Book of the Dead, or to the bombastic utterances of the 
typical stela, I gave bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked 
I was one whom his father loved and his brethren approved.’’ 
Another stela of type similar to that dealt with above contains an 
appeal to the god Ptah from one who had been struck blind in 
consequence, as he thought, of having sworn falsely by the o-od 
Coming, as they do, after centuries of self-satisfied protestations 
of innocence, these simple prayers strike a note which finds 'a 
much more sympathetic echo in the modern mind than anything 
else in Egyptian religion, even in the Aton-worship. For we have 
a belief m punishment for sin here on earth, a doctrine of humility 
and a conception of a merciful god. What is the place of this in 
the development of Egyptian religion? We still know too little 
of it to say. It can hardly have any direct connection with the Aton 
tarth, and we can only suppose that it was a temporary phase ‘ 
affecting only the poorer classes at a certain period of the XIXth 
Dynasty, and that in it we catch a precious if fleeting glance of a 
simpler, purer faith which had held sway throughout among the 
poorer and humbler Egyptians, and which at this? period managed 
to find momentary expression. See also p. 160 sq. 6 


Apart from this peculiar and interesting manifestation, the 
development of Egyptian religion is one of movement towards 
complete sacerdotalism, culminating in the passing of the tem- 
poral power from the hands of the king into those of the chief 
priest of Amon. The steps in this change were gradual. Thut- 
mose III had made use of the priesthood of Amon to secure his 
own elevation to the throne over the head of his brother by means 
of a trumped-up oracle of the god. In return for this he seems to 
have been forced to make the chief priest of Amon head of all the 
priesthoods of the land. The consequences of this are easily fore- 
seen. Henceforward the whole policy of the state can be guided 
by the Amon-priesthood by a judicious employment of oracles. 
We know little of their use at an earlier date than the XVIIIth 
Dynasty, but from that time onward they become remarkably 
frequent. The vast armies of workmen in the Theban necropolis 
were accustomed to settle their differences by having recourse to 
an image of the dead king Amenhotep I, the patron god of the 
cemetery, which announced its decision by nodding its head. An 
interesting memorial tablet found at Abydos shows us an oracular 
image of the dead king Aahmes I being carried in a sacred barque 
on the shoulders of four priests to settle a dispute as to the owner- 
ship of certain lands. The culmination of this system is seen in 
an inscription of Ramses II in which the king relates how, 
anxious to make an election to the office of high prieSt of Amon, 
he had recited to the god the names of all the likely candidates, 
and the god had nodded approval on hearing that of a certain 
Nebweneef, who was thereupon installed. It is clear enough from 
this that the priests were now making use of oracles to retain the 
succession to the great priestly offices in the hands where they 
would have them. There could be but one end to the process. In 
the reign of the last Ramses the crown passed from the head of 
the Pharaoh to that of the chief priest of Amon and commander 
of the armies, Hrihor. 

From this moment onward the old trunk of Egyptian religion 
failed to put forth a single new shoot. Thebes became a mere 
sacerdotal principality, and sank into such a lethargy both physical 
and moral that she was rapidly surpassed in importance by the 
cities of theDelta, and Amon became a minor deity. Osiris-worship, 
however, as a popular cult never lost its hold, and, despite the 
attempted resuscitation of the ancient sun-worship in the Sai'te 
period, Osiris, under the form of Osiris-Apis or Serapis, completely 
dominated both state and popular religion in Greek times. See 
above, p. 1 57. 




Perhaps the most striking feature in Egyptian religion is its 
easy detachment from morality by the force of hike or magical 
power. But although, in consequence of this, the Egyptians neither 
had nor could have a sound philosophical or religious theory of 
ethics, this did not in practice prevent them from having a moral 
code. This is exposed to some extent in the Declarations of Inno- 
cence in the Book of the Dead, but we may gain an even closer 
and more precious view of it by an examination of the legal code. 
Oddly enough, although the Greek writers assure us that the 
Egyptians codified their laws, and although the inscription in the 
tomb of Rekhmire informs us that the vizier sat in the court to 
do justice with the forty rolls containing the law open before him, 
yet no fragment of any of these rolls has come down to us. 
Indeed, we know remarkably little about Egyptian law in the 
concrete and not very much concerning the spirit in which it was 
administered. Of the latter, however, we do catch a glimpse in 
the famous inscription known as the Installation of the Vizier 
from the above-mentioned tomb. In this the Vizier, the supreme 
legal functionary in the state, next to the Pharaoh, is enjoined to 
‘ take heed that thou do all things according to what is in the law. 

. . .Behold men expect the doing of justice in the conduct of the 
Vizier. Behold that is its usual . . . since the days of the God. 
Behold the name given to the Vizier’s chief scribe; Scribe of 
Justice is what he is called. As for the office in which thou givest 
audience there is a hall of judgment therein. And he who shall do 
justice before all men is the Vizier.’ See above, pp. 45 sqq., and for 
Harmhab’s work, p. 133 sq. 

Of the constitution of the courts we do not know very much. 
In the XIXth Dynasty we find two Great Courts, each presided 
over by a Vizier, one at Thebes and the other at Heliopolis. In 
addition to these there must also have been Local Courts. The 
inscription of Mes reveals one such at Memphis, constituted 
apparently by the ‘Notables of the Town,’ and in the reign of 
Ikhnaton a dispute as to a debt was settled by a similar Local 
Court (Berlin Papyrus 9875). In the Abbott Papyrus (reign of 
Ramses IX) the court which tries the tomb-robbers is called the 
Great Court ( Qenbet ) of Thebes, and consists of the Vizier and 
seven other officials. In the trials recorded in Papyrus Mayer A 
neither the name of the court nor its composition appear, but the 
Vizier presides. The Harem Conspiracy under Ramses III was 

IX, xi] CRIMINAL LAW 21 1 

dealt with by a special court appointed by the king for the 
purpose (p. 1 86 sq .). A much earlier case of a special court occurs 
in the inscription of Uni of the Vlth Dynasty, where Uni him- 
self, with one other judge, is appointed by the king to deal with 
a charge against the Royal Wife (vol. 1, p. 292). 

Egyptian criminal law is mainly known to us from a series of 
papyri relating to certain causes celebres which unfortunately all 
date from about the same period, and that not an early one. In 
the XXth Dynasty the professional robbers of tombs had become 
so daring that they no longer hesitated to attack and plunder the 
royal tombs in the western valleys of Thebes. The situation 
seems to have been firmly dealt with, and a number of papyri, 
the most famous of which are the Abbott and the Amherst, have 
preserved for us the official account of the trials. A small papyrus 
at Vienna actually records the inspection of a number of such 
documents, which had been filed for reference in two pottery 
vases. One or two of the papyri which have survived may, though 
not without uncertainty, be identified with some of those on the 
Vienna list, but in any case it is clear that the various tomb 
robbery papyri scattered among the museums of Europe and 
America once formed part of a great legal dossier stored away in 
Egyptian times, and discovered, we know not where, by the 
modern Arabs, only to be dispersed by sale. 

From these documents as a whole we can obtain a rough idea 
of the procedure in these criminal cases. The first act was for the 
officials of the Pharaoh to visit the scene of the crime and satisfy 
themselves as to the facts, taking some of the thieves with them 
to identify the scene of their crime. This done, the evidence was 
heard. And here the methods of Egyptian law display a certain, 
crudity. Each witness, whether suspected of complicity or not, 
was given a preliminary bastinado. If this did not achieve the 
desired result it could be repeated. For example in Papyrus 
Mayer A we read ‘There was brought the scribe of the army, 
Ankhefenamun, son of Ptahemhab. He was examined by beating 
with the stick, the bastinado was given on his feet and his hands; 
an oath was administered to him, on pain of mutilation, not to 
speak falsehood. They said to him, Tell the manner of your 
going to the places with your brother. He said, Let a witness be 
brought to accuse me. He was again examined. He said, I saw 
nothing. He was placed under arrest in order to be examined 

The evidence was all given on oath, and taken down, if we 
may believe the records, word for word as spoken. The court, 


having heard the evidence, gave its decision, but the assessment 
of the penalty seems to have been left in the hands of the Pharaoh. 
It is well, however, to remember that these tomb-robberies, on 
account of their importance, may have been dealt with in a 
special manner, and it may perhaps be unwise to argue from them 
as to the normal practice of Egyptian criminal law. 

The same reservation must be made in the case of the famous 
trial for the Harem Conspiracy in the reign of Ramses III. A 
plot against the king had been hatched in the royal harem, and, 
to make matters worse, one of the queens was implicated in, if 
not mainly responsible for, it. Worse still, magic rolls and figures 
of wax were among the methods employed by the conspirators. 
The plot was discovered, and the king, apparently disgusted with 
the whole affair, which involved many of those who were his 
intimates in his daily life, appointed a special court of twelve to 
deal with the case and to deliver and execute the sentences without 
further reference to himself. The mandate of the court runs as 
follows. ‘As for the talk which people are making I know nothing 
of it. Hasten ye to examine it. Ye shall go and examine them and 
cause those who are to die to die by their own hand without 
(my) knowing it. And ye shall execute punishment upon the rest 
without my knowing it.’ Different groups of the conspirators 
were tried by different groups of the judges, and the affair was 
further complicated by the fact that two of the judges ‘forsook 
the good instruction which had been given to them ’ and entered 
into an intrigue with some of the women of the harem. These 
two persons were punished by the cutting off of their noses and 
ears, while the rest of the guilty were suffered to take their own 
lives, apparently in the court. No reference was made to the 
Pharaoh, and the criminals, or some of them, were actually tried 
under false names (see p.187 j<y). 

Turning now to civil law, we are at once struck by the high 
development of the conception of property in Egypt. It is first 
brought to our notice in connection with mortuary endowments. 
As early as the IVth and Vth Dynasties we find a series of in- 
scriptions — the most complete is in a tomb close beside the 
pyramid of Khephren — in which the owner of the tomb declares 
that he has left to his mortuary priest certain property and serfs, 
the revenues from which are to accrue to the priest in return for 
the keeping up of the funerary cult and offerings to the testator 
after his death. This in itself is straightforward. But the testator 
then proceeds to tie up the property. The legatee may not sell or 
bequeath it, but it descends to his children and to anyone else 


who may share with them the duties of funerary priest to the 
testator. In the case of the legatee’s leaving the guild of priests of 
which he is at present a member the property reverts to the 

The careful treatment of questions of property of which the 
above is an example is admirably exemplified in the records of 
the Middle Kingdom. In order to be convinced of this it is only 
necessary to glance through the complicated and yet perfectly 
clear wills among the Kahun Papyri. Still more striking from the 
same point of view are the contracts made by the nomarch of 
Siut, a certain Hapzefa, in the time of the Xllth Dynasty. This 
noble wished to secure that certain offerings should be made to 
him, and certain ceremonies performed for him after his death. He 
therefore made a series of formal contracts, ten in number, with 
various members and groups of members of the temple staff of 
Upwawet, of whom he himself was chief priest. Now the property 
and rights which he held as nomarch of Siut and as chief priest 
of Upwawet were not his to dispose of, being held in fief from 
the king. On the other hand he had a hereditary right to certain 
portions of the income of the temple by reason of the fact that 
his family belonged by birth to the priestly college. These last 
emoluments he describes as his ‘paternal estate,’ and it is these 
which he barters in perpetuity with the various contracting parties 
in return for certain offerings which they are to give him after 
his death. 

The contracts are all cast in a definite mould, doubtless that 
prescribed by Egyptian civil law. One example (No. 3) will give 
an adequate idea of their nature. 

Contract which the nomarch and chief of priests, Hapzefa, deceased, 
made with the staff of the temple, for the giving to him of bread and beer 
on the 1 8th day of the first month of the Inundation Season, the day of the 
feast of Uag. List of what (is to be) given (to him). [Here follows a list of 
the ten members of the staff and the number of jugs of beer, kefen-czkes 
and white loaves to be given by each.] What he has given to them for it is 
22 temple-days, out of his paternal estate, not out of the nomarch’s estate, 
namely 4 days to the chief priest and 2 days to each priest. Now he said to 
them, A temple-day means one 360th part of a year. Ye shall divide all 
that accrues to this temple in bread, in beer, and in flesh of the daily rations. 
The resulting 360th part of the bread, beer and everything else, will be 
the income of the temple for one of these days which I have given to you. 
Behold it is my property belonging to my paternal estate, not to the estate 
of the nomarch, since I am the son of a priest like any other of you. Behold 
these temple-days shall pass in turn to any staff of the temple which shall 
come into being, on condition that they provide for me this bread and beer 
which they are to give me. And they agreed thereto. 


The concise and accurate form of the contract needs no com- 
ment. The distinction between Hapzefa’s paternal estate, which 
is alienable, and his estate qua nomarch, which is not, has already 
been remarked. Not less striking than this is the legal definition 
of the income of a ‘temple-day’ as the income of a whole year of 
360 days divided by 360, i.e. the income of an average day. But 
the most surprising contract of all is No. 6, in which, as nomarch 
of the Lycopolite nome, he makes a contract with the chief 
priest of Upwawet, i.e. himself, for certain roast meat and beer to 
be offered to him after his death. He gives in return two temple- 
days, from the property of his paternal estate, not out of his 
property as nomarch. Here Hapzefa as a private individual is 
making an agreement with Hapzefa as chief priest, that is as an 
official, which agreement is to be binding on his heirs on the one 
hand and on his successors in office on the other. It is true that 
the contract can hardly come into operation until his death, but 
it is actually made during his life, and we thus have a recognition 
by Egyptian law of a dual legal personality, and of the possibility 
of contracting between the two sides of the same personality. 

For the period of the New Empire we have an admirable 
example of a civil action in the inscription of Mes. A certain 
Neshi had received from king Aahmes I, probably in recognition 
of services in the war of expulsion of the Hyksos, a tract of land. 
This, after Neshi’s death, descended from heir to heir until, in 
the reign of Horemheb, the Great Court of Heliopolis was called 
upon to divide the estate between several co-heirs for whom a 
certain Werel was made administrator. The subsequent history 
of the property is difficult to follow, and there seems to have been 
considerable litigation. Finally in year 18 of Ramses II a certain 
Khay wrested the lands by fraud from the then occupier, Nub- 
nofret, by producing in court forged title-deeds and falsifying a 
register. The villainy passed undiscovered and Khay took pos- 
session. Nubnofret’s son, Mes, on attaining manhood, appealed 
against this verdict. In his speech before the Court he pleads 
that the title-deeds of Khay were forgeries, and calls witnesses to 
prove his own descent from Neshi, the original owner of the 
property. The defendant Khay speaks next, and merely recapitu- 
lates the incidents of the original trial, making no attempt to 
prove descent from Neshi. Evidence on oath is next heard, and 
finally the verdict is given, in words now lost, in favour of Mes. 
On another wall of the tomb in which this inscription is recorded 
are fragments of copies of the documents used by Mes, but the 
state of the text does not enable us to say at what point in the 


IX, in] 


trial he used them. The light thrown on Egyptian civil law by this 
inscription is creditable. We find that records existed of trials 
held many years back, and that there was a register of properties 
with their owners. 

An equally interesting though less known document is the 
Berlin Papyrus 3047, which, when intact, contained the complete 
account of a civil law suit tried before a court in the royal judg- 
ment-hall in Thebes. The papyrus is badly mutilated, and no full- 
sized facsimile has been published. The plaintiff claims that 
certain lands over which he and his brothers, for whom he is 
executor, have rights are being reaped by someone else, apparently 
a certain overseer of the slave-prison, notwithstanding the fact 
that he himself has made them over to the temple of Mut, 
reserving, however, as it would seem, the right to a certain pro- 
portion of their produce. The plaintiff first makes his deposition. 
Next the court makes a statement which is mostly lost, and then 
Wennefer, a priest of the Temple of Mut, makes a deposition on 
behalf of the temple. The court now gives judgment. Then the 
plaintiff, in whose favour the decision has clearly gone, says to 
the priest of Mut, ‘Behold my land. . .you are to give me the 
half of its produce in grain and vegetables,’ and the trial ends 
with the reply of Wennefer, ‘I will do it; behold me, I will do it, 
I will do it.’ 


It is now necessary to turn to other aspects of Egyptian life 
and activity. The Egyptian mind, as has been noted above, did 
not run in the direction of pure philosophy. On the other hand, 
it showed no sloth in grappling with the problems of every day 
life. The result is that the practical sciences, so far as they were 
not blighted by the all-destroying influence of magic, were in a 
flourishing condition. 

In a land where it was necessary to cultivate every inch of 
fertile soil, and where, as we have seen, the conception of property 
was so highly developed, mensuration must have been of vital 
importance. The evidence of the pyramids of the Old Kingdom 
proves that even in this period the Egyptians were capable of 
making measurements of extraordinary accuracy. It need therefore 
not surprise us to find in the reign of Apophis, a Hyksos ruler, a 
papyrus (Papyrus Rhind, now in the British Museum) which 
consists of a series of mathematical problems with their solution 
and explanation, and which claims to be a copy of a still older 


document. There is also a similar papyrus at Moscow, one 
problem from which has been published, and there are also a few 
mathematical fragments among the Middle Kingdom papyri 
from Kahun. 

The Egyptian system of counting was decimal. A single stroke 
stood for r, two strokes for 2 and so on. The number io was 
expressed by a sign like a capital U reversed, 20 by two such 
signs, and so on up to 90. There was a new sign for 100, another 
for 1000, and others for 10,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000. This 
system shows us that for practical purposes there was no limit 
set to counting. But in actual use the system had a serious defect. 
In order to write the number 985 it was necessary to write 5 
units, 8 tens and 9 hundreds, or 22 signs in all. It is true that in 
the hieratic script this process was considerably shortened by the 
use of contractions such as two long horizontal strokes for 8 
instead of two rows of four vertical strokes each. But in a sense 
this only further complicated the system, for there arose in this 
manner a separate hieratic sign for each unit, for each of the tens, 
each of the hundreds and so on. The discovery that in a decimal 
system ten figures could be made to express all pdssible numbers 
by giving them values as units, tens, hundreds, etc., according to 
their position was never reached by the Egyptians. 

Fractions had no terrors for them, though they dealt only in 
those whose numerator was unity. The sole exception to this was 
two-thirds, which was originally written ‘ the two parts ’ : two- 
thirds of a number was taken directly and one-third could only 
be obtained by halving this. The consequence of this limitation 
with regard to fractions was that tables had to be made up for 
reducing every fraction whose numerator was not unity to a sum 
of fractions whose numerators were unity. As direct multiplica- 
tion by numbers other than 2 (and rarely 1 o) was unknown, these 
tables needed only to deal with fractions whose numerator was 2, 
and the Rhind Papyrus therefore begins with a table for reducing 
to unity-fractions all 2-fractions from two-fifths to two over a 
hundred-and-one. Thus two-fifths equals a third plus a fifteenth, 
and so on. These results are obtained mainly by trial. They are 
used constantly in the problems of this Papyrus. 

The fundamental processes of addition and subtraction, both 
mere questions of counting in the strict sense of the term, gave 
the Egyptian scholar little difficulty. But when he came to 
multiplication he was in serious difficulties, for he memorized 
only the results of multiplication by 2, instead of by all numbers 
up to 12 and even beyond, as we do. Thus, to multiply by 5, it 


IX, in] 

21 7 

was necessary to multiply by 2, then by 2 again, which was 
equivalent to multiplying by 4, and lastly to add on the original 
number. Division was of course merely the converse of multi- 
plication, and was done purely by trial. To divide 27 by 4 the 
reckoner took the number 4, doubled it, quadrupled it, halved it, 
quartered it and so on. Among the figures thus obtained he noted 
that 16 + 8 + 2 + 1 made 2 7, and that therefore the quotient 
when 27 was divided by 4 must be 4 + 2 + | + £ or 6 -f | • + -|- 
(since £ was not used). Apart from this multiplication and division 
by 2 the Egyptian had but one weapon in his mathematical 
armoury, namely the peculiar power alluded to above of taking 
two-thirds of a number in a single operation. One-third was 
arrived at indirectly by halving this, and from this one-sixth, 
one-ninth and so on could be obtained. With these primitive 
means, however, he managed to get much further than might 
have been expected. Among the purely arithmetical problems of 
the Papyrus we find the division of fractions by fractions, the 
equal division of ten loaves among various numbers of men, and 

the solution by trial of equations of the form x + - = b* 

The same methods were applied to mensuration. The area of 
the rectangle was correctly determined, as the product of its 
length and breadth. This was obviously a mere matter of ob- 
servation once the conception of units of area as apart from units 
of length had developed. The area of the circle was obtained by 
squaring eight-ninths of its diameter. We have no idea how this 
approximation was arrived at, but it is a remarkably good one, 

giving the value of rr as 3*16 Whether the Egyptians had 

successfully determined the area of the scalene triangle is a matter 
of doubt, owing to the uncertainty in meaning of some of the 
technical terms used. The formula given is half the base multi- 
plied by the meryeL This last is generally taken to be the length 
of a . side (the triangle in the figure which accompanies the 
problem is isosceles), but it may just possibly be the perpendicular 
height, in which case the solution is correct. 

Passing on to solids we find the volume of the cylinder deter- 
mined as the product of its base (approximately ascertained as 
above) into its vertical height. The volume of a parallelepiped is 
correctly given as the product of its three dimensions. Practical 
rules are also given us for determining how many bushels of 
corn can be placed in a granary of given measurements, without 
actually working out the volume of the granary. It is hardly 
necessary to remark that such problems as this show a complete 


understanding of the nature of three-dimensional units. In the 
Moscow Papyrus the volume of a truncated pyramid is given as 

- ( a 2 + ab + £ 2 ), where a and b are the sides of the squares which 

bound the figure top and bottom respectively and h is the height, 
but whether vertical or slanting is not quite certain. 

A number of problems deal with the determination of the 
slope or batter of the sides of a pyramid of given base and height. 
This is a purely practical matter, the result being given in the 
form of so many palms per cubit, and intended for the use of the 
stonemason who had to dress the outer blocks of the pyramid. 
The remaining problems of the Rhind Papyrus are all purely 
arithmetical, but all deal with practical problems, the numbering 
of cattle, the food of a poultry farm, the number of loaves of 
bread or jugs of beer of a certain size which can be made from a 
fixed quantity of grain, etc. 

Of the application of mathematics to astronomy there is very 
little trace. It is true that the length of the solar year had been 
fairly accurately determined, but this was done in the first place by 
observation of the heliacal rising of Sirius or Sothis, which hap- 
pened to correspond rather closely with the first rise of the Nile. 
In other words, it was a matter of observation and involved no 
calculation whatever (vol. i, p. 168). 

At the same time the aspect of the heavens was carefully 
studied, and the various groups of stars were divided into con- 
stellations according to the forms which they presented to 
Egyptian imagination. The material at our disposal for study is 
unfortunately rather late in date, running from the XIXth Dynasty 
down to Roman times, and consists mainly in tables and pictures 
of stars from the roofs of royal tombs and of temples. Five 
planets seem to have been known, identified generally with 
Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Perhaps the most 
striking documents are the star-tables in the tombs of Ramses VI 
and Ramses IX. In these the heaven is regarded as represented 
or occupied by the figure of a squatting man, and the position of 
certain prominent stars is mapped out on this figure for every 
fortnight of the year, such and such a star being said to be over 
the left eye, such and such another over the right ear, and so on. 

Among the learning of the Egyptians medicine found a place. 
No fewer than four considerable papyri dealing with the subject 
have come down to us, while a recently re-discovered papyrus 
treats of surgery, though of a very elementary kind, and a frag- 
ment from Kahun attests the existence of veterinary treatises. 


As early as the Old Kingdom we find references to the wr swnw 
or chief doctor. A certain Khuy, who bore this title in the royal 
court, is described as ‘interpreter of a difficult science.’ The 
Egyptians themselves attributed a hoary antiquity to the begin- 
nings of their medical knowledge. A section of the Berlin Medical 
Papyrus, which also occurs in the Ebers Papyrus, is stated to 
have been found ‘ in an ancient script in a chest of documents 
beneath the feet of the majesty of king Usaphais. After his death 
it was brought to the majesty of king Send on account of its 
excellence.’ These names take us back to the earliest dynasties, 
and, indeed, the portion of the papyri to which the heading refers 
contains peculiarities of writing and syntax not inconsistent with 
a very early origin. 

Like religion, the science of medicine was permeated by the 
blighting influence of magic, which made any serious progress 
impossible. Of our five main papyri one contains little beyond 
a series of spells to be recited at the taking of certain medicines. 
The medicaments here occupy an entirely subordinate place, and 
the proportions in which they are to be mixed are not even given. 
Thus the document stands half way between the purely magical 
‘Spells for Mother and Child’ (Papyrus Berlin 3027), in which 
the child is protected against disease by the recitation of spells 
by the mother, and the more serious medical papyri, such as the 
Ebers. One or two examples will serve to give an idea of this 
London Papyrus. ‘Receipt for driving the blood from a wound. 
Fly-dung and vinegar placed thereon. Incantation. The weak was 
carried off by the strong (repeat backwards). The weak is saved; 
he smites the strong. This against that.’ A recipe for the healing 
of burns consists of a long incantation telling how Horus was 
once burnt in the marshes, and cured by the milk of his sister 
Isis. The remedy to be applied has relation to the incantation, 
for it consists of various vegetable products, mixed and stirred 
up with the milk of the mother of a male child. Another incanta- 
tion against a disease called thent-aamu is said to be ‘in the 
language of Keftiu’ (see p. 280 and note), and yet others are ‘in 
the language of the foreigners,’ perhaps more particularly ‘the 

Putting aside the whole paraphernalia of magic, can we discern 
in Egyptian medicine anything of real value? To answer this 
question we must consider the Egyptians’ knowledge of anatomy, 
the correctness of their diagnoses, the nature of their drugs, and 
the method of their application. Seeing that they were in the habit 
of opening bodies for mummification, their opportunities for the 


study of human anatomy must have been unrivalled. Yet they 
seem to have made little use of them. They had, it is true, taken 
cognizance of the existence and position of the iarger organs, an 
achievement of no very great merit, but in their attempts to go 
beyond this they failed badly. Having observed the great blood- 
vessels which enter and leave the heart, they had evolved a 
vessel-theory which is twice exposed in the Ebers Papyrus, with 
considerable variations. The various vessels were said to lead 
from the heart to different parts of the body, so many to each leg 
and arm, so many to the liver, and so on. According to one 
account there were forty in all, according to another only twelve. 
The circulation of the blood was quite unknown, for they thought 
that these vessels conveyed various substances : air, water, blood, 
mucus and other materials. Disease was held to be caused by 
failure in their functioning, and a long section of the papyrus is 
devoted to recipes for cooling, calming, vivifying, freshening and 
reducing the activity of these vessels. 

It is clear that a system of medicine could not with any success 
be based upon such a mass of misconception and invention as 
this. It only remains to ask whether the Egyptian materia medica 
has any empirical value. Here there is no doubt that an affirmative 
answer must be given. There are many things for which vinegar, 
ointment, olive-oil, milk, beer, honey, castor-oil, cummin and 
such common substances are beneficial. It is further probable 
that many of the plants contained in these prescriptions which we 
are as yet unable to identify were efficacious for the diseases for 
which the Egyptians used them. Let us not deny to this great 
nation that knowledge of the medical effects of various natural 
substances which is possessed by even the most savage people of 
modern times. The majority of the recipes contain at least one 
of a small group of medicines such as those enumerated above. 
These formed the kernel of the prescription, and if ignorance and 
superstition insisted on adding the excreta of animals and flies 
together with other less abominable if equally useless ingredients, 
these can hardly have prevented the really useful portions of the 
whole from doing their work and ‘proving most efficacious,’ as 
the Egyptians loved to add at the end of their favourite recipes. 

Our papyri tell us little about diagnosis. The nature of the 
disease is generally taken for granted, and the supposed remedy 
prescribed. The new Smith Papyrus and certain sections of Ebers, 
however, show that diagnosis was attempted. ‘ If you are treating a 
man with a pain in the abdomen and all his limbs are heavy, you are 
to lay your hand on his abdomen. If you And his abdomen swollen 



IX, XV] 

and it comes and goes beneath the fingers, then shall you say, 
This is a weariness of eating. Stop him eating forthwith. You are 
to make for him every kind of purge.’ Here the section consists, 
as often, of three parts : examination, diagnosis and prescription. 
The examination is, however, always of a very elementary nature. 

In the method of applying drugs some discrimination is 
naturally shown. External complaints are as a rule treated ex- 
ternally by poultice or fomentation. Inhalation or fumigation is 
rare. Internal medicines are often marked to be taken in water or 
milk, in many cases for four successive days, this number appear- 
ing to have a special efficacy in medicine. 

A special section of Egyptian medicine dealt with gynaecology 
and the diseases of children. In this section is a method for 
detecting whether a child will live or not ‘ on the day of its birth. 
If it says ny (yes?), that means it will live. If it says mbi (no), that 
means it will die.’ 

This by no means exhausts the domain of medicine, for the 
doctor was expected to drive out vermin from the house, to 
prevent a snake from coming out of his hole, to keep rats from 
devouring the grain in the barn, to drive out a bad smell from a 
house or a garment, and to prevent mosquitos from biting. Even 
in the preparation of toilet prescriptions the doctor was called 
upon. He had a remedy for beautifying the skin, for preventing 
the hair from falling, and even for causing the hair of a hated 
rival (the word is feminine gender) to come out. 


The changes which transformed Egyptian religion were not 
without their effect on literature (see above, p. i6osq.). Much 
though there is both in quantity and quality in the New Empire 
we cannot help feeling that the great age of Egyptian writing has 
passed with the Middle Kingdom. There is no group of writings 
in the later period which could compete in literary merit with such 
a combination as Sinuhe, the Eloquent Peasant and the Proverbs 
of Ptahhotep (see vol. i). The reason for this is difficult to find, 
and it may be that we are simply face to face with the old and 
insoluble problem, why art flourishes more at one period than 
at another, though the conditions of the two periods seem equally 
conducive to successful artistic activity. It might be thought that 
the failure of the New Kingdom is merely apparent, and that 
fortunate discoveries will yet force us to alter our opinion. That 
this is improbable is clear from the fact that, as the numerous 
fragments of schoolboys’ copy-books show, the great works of 


the Middle Kingdom were still the favourite subjects for copy- 
work in the New Empire, a sure sign that little of equal merit 
had arisen to take their place. 

From one point of view this is strange, for one might have 
confidently expected that the great victories of the XVIIIth and 
XIXth Dynasties would prove a sharp stimulus to literature. 
Yet to these we seem to owe little beyond the Victory Hymn of 
Thutmose III, the so-called Poem of Pentewere (see below), and 
a series of not too brilliant historical and semi-historical stories. 
Religious literature, however, occasionally reached quite a high 
level, especially in the hymns to the sun-god ( e.g . Leiden Papyrus 
350) and in the hymns and prayers of the Aton faith. At the 
same time the Book of the Dead is on the whole a dull successor 
to the Pyramid and Coffin Texts. 

In secular writing the literary forms of the Middle Kingdom 
were by no means abandoned, and in the Maxims of Ani, and 
the Teachings of Dwauf (Papyrus Sallier II) we have a continua- 
tion of the very popular ‘Instructions’ of older days. The first 
of these works seems but a feeble echo of the far more piquant 
Proverbs of Ptahhotep, but the second holds something that is 
new to us. It is an exaltation of the profession of literature. 
Dwauf is taking his son Pepi up the Nile to set him to school 
and exhorts him to strenuous efforts by recounting the toils and 
difficulties which beset every trade and profession save that of 
the scribe. The piece has been not ill-described as the Satire on 
the Professions. Y have never seen the smith,’ says the speaker, 
‘as an ambassador, nor the goldsmith as a messenger (?). But I 
have seen the smith at his work at the mouth of his furnace, his 
fingers like the crocodiles (in their rugosity?), and he stank 
more than eggs or fish.’ 

The art of story-telling, so admirably exemplified in the Middle 
Kingdom in Sinuhe and the Shipwrecked Sailor, had not been 
altogether lost. In Papyrus Harris 500 we have a naive tale known 
as the Enchanted Prince. A childless king is granted a son by the 
gods, and at the birth the Hathors decree him a destiny, ‘He 
shall die by the crocodile or the snake or again the dog.’ The 
father, anxious to save his son from the fate decreed, shuts him 
up in a house of stone in the desert. But the prince not only 
contrives to obtain a puppy for companion, but eventually wrings 
from his father a reluctant consent to his going out into the 
world. ‘What is to come of it if I sit idle here? Behold I am 
ordained to three fates. Let it be granted me to do according to 
my heart’s desire. Surely God will do what is in his heart.’ He 


IX, iv] 


sets off with his dog and comes to the land of Naharin in the 
north-east of Syria. Here he finds that the king of the land has 
shut up his daughter in a lofty tower, and promised her hand to 
whosoever shall succeed in flying up to her window. Concealing 
his identity, the prince joins the competitors and wins the princess, 
despite the objections of her father, who believes him to be merely 
the son of an Egyptian officer. He discloses the secret of his fates 
to his wife, who implores him to have the dog killed, but in vain. 
She next saves him from the first of his fates in the form of a 
snake, which attacks him while he is asleep. The rest of the 
papyrus is incomplete and obscure. The expected crocodile, 
however, makes his appearance, together with a giant whose 
function in the plot is not evident. The last lines leave the prince 
in considerable trouble with the crocodile. It needs no prophet 
to tell us that he will escape this peril only to be done to death 
by some misplaced zeal on the part of the faithful dog. The story 
is clearly told, but compared with Sinuhe or the Shipwrecked 
Sailor it is the work of a child as against that of a grown man. 
Vocabulary and phraseology are very limited and the constant 
repetition of a few groups of words is so tedious that despite our 
interest in the ultimate fate of the prince we view the mutilated 
end of the papyrus without a pang. 

Distinctly higher, from the stylistic point of view, must be 
placed the Story of Anubis and Bet contained in the d’Orbiney 
Papyrus. It has a particular interest in that it contains an anticipa- 
tion of the history of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. At first sight it 
seems a perfectly straightforward fairy-tale, but there is a con- 
siderable probability, judging by the name Anubis, and by some 
of the incidents, that the story has a religious background. 

In some of these stories a historical setting is attempted. The 
warlike exploits of the kings of the XVIIIth and XIXth Dynasties 
had appealed strongly to the story writer and to this fact we owe 
some of our knowledge of Egyptian history. Thus, Papyrus 
Sallier I contains the famous tale of Sekenenre and the Hyksos 
referred to in vol. 1, p. 314, while in Harris 500 we have an 
account of a stratagem whereby Thutmose III captured the town 
of Joppa (p. 84, above). Naturally the student of Egyptian history 
will exercise caution in making use of this material, for it is often 
difficult to distinguish fact from fancy. 

Among the same group of texts must be placed the description 
of Ramses II’s fight with the Hittites and their allies at the town 
of Kadesh. This, known wrongly by the name of the Poem of 
Pentewere, who is merely the scribe who made our papyrus copy 


of it (Papyri Raifet and Sallier III), was written by an unknown 
author to please the vanity of the king after his return from 
narrowly escaping disaster at Kadesh. It was inscribed on the 
walls of three temples in Egypt. 

To the same martial inspiration we owe the famous Hymn of 
Victory dedicated by Thutmose III to Amon and inscribed on a 
slab of black granite found in the Amon temple at Karnak. The 
composition is in parts strophic in arrangement, and is in the 
form of a speech placed in the mouth of the god. Two strophes 
will give an idea of the whole, 

I have come. 

I granted thee to trample on the great ones of Syria; 

I spread them beneath thy feet in their lands. 

I caused them to see thy majesty as Lord of the Rays, 

When thou didst shine in their faces in my image. 

I have come. 

I granted thee to trample on the dwellers in Asia; 

To smite the heads of the Asiatics of Retenu. 

I caused them to see thy Majesty equipped with his splendour, 

When thou didst seize the weapons of warfare in thy chariot. 

From these hymns of victory and accounts of royal prowess it 
is distressing to turn to the last of the historical papyri of this 
period, the Story of Wenamon. This tells of the adventures of a 
certain Wenamon, who, in the reign of Ramses XII, was sent 
by the chief priest of Amon, Hrihor, to the ruler of Byblus in 
Syria to ask for timber for the sacred barque of Amon. The main 
value of this document lies in the sad picture it gives us of the 
position of Egypt, now compelled to beg and to give a price for 
the wood of Lebanon which Thutmose III and Ramses II would 
have exacted as tribute. See p. 192 sq. 

The rest of the secular literature of the period, apart from law- 
documents, accounts, and the day-books of temples, cemeteries 
and fortresses, consists mainly of letters, actual or model. The 
latter we owe to the fact that letter-writing played a prominent 
part in the education of the scribe, with the result that numbers 
of model letters have come down to us with the master’s cor- 
rections in the margin. The following is an admirable example of 
this style of writing, and comes from the collection of model 
letters contained in Papyrus Bologna 1094. ‘The scribe Meh of 
the armoury of Pharaoh says to the scribe Uhem. Don’t play the 
man of no intelligence who has no education. Though one spends 
the night in teaching you, and spends the whole day in teaching 
you, yet you hearken to no advice, but follow your own counsel. 


IX, iv] 


The ape is obedient when he is brought from Ethiopia; men 
can teach lions and subdue horses, but as for you, your like is not 
known in the whole world. Don’t forget it.’ 

Another of the same series is of still more mundane tenour. 
‘The scribe Uhem greets his lord the scribe Meh of the armoury 
of Pharaoh. This is to inform my lord that the vizier has sent 
three youths, saying, Place them as priests in the temple of 
Merenptah Hetephermaat in the estate of Ptah. But they seized 
them and took them to . . . , saying, they shall be soldiers. Do 
thou make haste and overtake them, and write to me what is 
their position. Moreover, do thou seek out the merchant (or 
possibly, Pashuy, a proper name) and see whether he has come 
from Syria. Further, do thou hurry hither from Memphis, for 
my heart is sick and I am unable to write to thee. Do thou send the 
servant Tinen, and write to me of thy condition by the hand of 
everyone who comes hither from thee. May thy health be good.’ 

A peculiar development of the epistolary style is the satiric 
letter as exemplified by Papyrus Anastasi I. The argument is as 
follows. A scribe of the royal stable named Hori has received from 
his colleague Amenemope a letter which he considers shows a 
complete lack of epistolary skill. Hori undertakes in his reply to 
show his friend how a letter ought to be composed, and to 
surpass him at every point in dealing with precisely the same 
topics. Among other tests of skill Hori propounds several mathe- 
matical problems which he regards his rival as incapable of 
solving, jeers at him for his pretensions as a traveller, and cross- 
examines him on the subject of a journey in Syria, of the geo- 
graphy of which region Amenemope shows himself totally 
ignorant. Finally Hori comforts him with the hope that with 
time and application he too may become equally proficient (see 
p. 326 jy.). The appeal of this type of literature to the modern 
mind is not very direct, but its popularity in Ancient Egypt is 
attested by the existence of excerpts from it on no fewer than 
eight ostraca and a papyrus. 

No account of Egyptian literature of the New Kingdom would 
be complete without some mention of its admirable love songs. 
The best known of these are contained in a collection known as 
‘The beautiful joyful songs of thy sister whom thy heart loves, 
who walks in the fields.’ These have been so frequently quoted 
that it may be advisable to give an instance from a less well-known 
composition found inscribed on an ostracon of the XIXth or 
XXth Dynasty. ‘The love of my beloved leaps on the bank of 
the stream among. ... A crocodile lies in the shallows, yet I go 


C. A.H.II 


down into the water and breast the wave. My courage is high on 
the stream and the water is as land to my feet. It is her love that 
makes me strong. She is a book of spells (?) to me. When I 
behold my beloved coming my heart is glad, my arms are spread 
apart to embrace her; my heart rejoices because of its. . .like. . , 
for ever, since my beloved came. When I embrace her my arms 
are spread and I am as one who is in the Incense Land, as one 
who carries perfume. When I kiss her her lips are opened and 
I am made merry without beer. Would that I were her negress- 
slave who is in attendance on her so should I behold the hue of 
all her limbs.’ 

As erotic poems these love lyrics are not unfit to compare with 
such compositions as the Song of Solomon, and they display an 
imagination and a mastery over metaphor and simile with which 
we might have failed to credit the Egyptians of the New Empire 
had this section of their literature not come down to us. 




T RAFFIC and intercourse in the Near East are dependent 
on two factors — water and animals. The bank of a river, 
presuming that it is not rendered impassable by forests or moun- 
tains, will always provide a route for a wayfarer on foot, from its 
mouth to its source. But if the traveller essay to strike away from 
it, to cross country which is either desert or sparse of water, his 
risks of dying of thirst are great, until the water-holes are known 
to him either by his own discovery, or by hearsay from the in- 
habitants. It is then that the horse comes to aid the adventurer, 
who is thus able to make his day’s journey twice or three times 
as long, from one water-pan to another, or escape attack by 
fleeing at a gallop where formerly he must rely on his own heels 

It was the introduction of the horse from the East which, 
perhaps more than any one factor, changed the face of inter- 
national politics. Where in previous times man had depended on 
ass and camel and his own slow pace, he now was able to traverse 
the length and breadth of the land with horse or mule; the ass 
must yield in power to both, and the camel, excellent on the flat, 
cannot climb rocks in colder altitudes. 

It was the Kassites who really introduced the horse into Baby- 
lonia, although it had already been known in the time of Ham- 
murabi (vol. i, p. 501). It must surely have been in common use 
some time before the Kassites dominated Babylonia in the 
eighteenth century, for it entered Egypt about the time of the 
Hyksos conquest, c. 1800 (?) b.c., together with the Semitic 
word for ‘chariot,’ markabata, the same as the Hebrew merkabhah. 
The obvious assumption is, of course, that the Hyksos brought 
it in with them. Even Murshil II, the Hittite (c. 1355-1330), 
in his cuneiform inscriptions used, like any Babylonian, the word 
anshu.kur.ra , ‘the beast from the East,’ for the horse. 

With this tremendous increase in pace and power, paralleled 
by our use of motor-lorry and aeroplane in the East during the 





latter part of our Mesopotamian campaign, the political horizon 
changed, and Assyria and Babylonia had to adapt themselves 
accordingly. Troops and merchants could travel long distances 
with comparative safety; the different nations were no longer 
able to shut themselves within their own ring-fences. The begin- 
ning of the second millennium shows an extraordinary quickening 
of political conversations between Asia Minor, Egypt and Meso- 
potamia; the el-Amarna tablets from Egypt, the scattered tablets 
from the Palestine mounds, the great finds of Hittite tablets at 
Boghaz Keui, all tell the same tale of interchange of diplomatic 
correspondence, with intermarriage between Royal Houses, such 
as would hardly have been suggested as possible in the third 

It must not, however, be supposed that there had been no 
hardy and reckless spirits to explore neighbouring lands before 
the introduction of the horse. For instance, Egypt had long been 
in some kind of possession of the turquoise mines in the rocky 
fastnesses of Sinai, which had been secured for her by expeditions 
even as far back as the 1 st Dynasty. Later on is told the exciting 
Egyptian story of Sinuhe, who, in the reign of Amenemhet I of 
the Xllth Dynasty, made his way through the Palestinian lands, 
luxuriant with vines, figs and olives (vol. i, pp. 226 sqq.). On the 
Babylonian side there is little record of individual travel, although 
perhaps the Legend of Gilgamesh marks the admiration of the 
Sumerian for bold exploits in solitary wandering, which may well 
have some foundation in fact. There are the rather dubious 
legends of Sargon in the west as far as the Mediterranean, and 
the more satisfactory stories of Gudea ranging foreign lands in 
search of wood and stone; but these are the campaigns of warriors 
and not the wanderings of single wayfarers. Nevertheless, in spite 
of this lack of stories, there must have been frequent mercantile 
traffic between land and land with caravans strong enough to be 
secured against robbery, plying up the banks of the two rivers 
and thence diverging whither the rich and safer roads led them. 
Practically the only district which merchants had to avoid were 
the deserts west of the Euphrates which were only to be crossed 
with the greatest difficulty. 

With the spread of the horse went one of the great inventions 
of the ancient world, the cuneiform character. It was adopted by 
practically all the nations of the Near East as a medium for the 
exchange of diplomatic correspondence; Egypt, Syria, Mitanni, 
Hanigalbat and the Hittite country all borrowed it from the 
Tigris valley about this time: Van adopted it at a later period; 


Elam had already long absorbed it. Some of these chancelleries 
preferred to retain even the Semitic language of Babylonia as a 
lingua franca for their communications to foreign powers; others, 
more ambitious, attempted to apply the cuneiform signs with 
their Babylonian values to their own languages, in which they 
then wrote their correspondence. Egypt recognized the futility 
of this, as did the Kassites; the Hittites wrote in Semitic Baby- 
lonian side by side with their native language spelt out laboriously 
in cuneiform. To this fortunate circumstance of the almost 
universal adoption of cuneiform on clay by the ancient world, 
we owe most of our knowledge of the politics of the fifteenth 
century b.c. 1 . 

To go back for a moment to the preceding century, the six- 
teenth, let us examine the relations between the great lands of 
the civilized world, Egypt, Hatti, Assyria, Babylonia and Elam. 
Of these the Egyptians and the Hittites were the two pre- 
eminent; the Kassites in Babylonia were shortly to take the third 
place, but these were merely cuckoos in the nest, without great 
inventive capacity, and markedly inferior to the first two. As for 
Assyria,, it was as yet only a very small state barred out from the 
west by the powerful kingdom of Mitanni and, in a less degree, 
Hanigalbat, and by the Aramaean tribes of the Middle Euphrates. 
Elam, again, in the far south-east was now a kingdom to itself, 
but at first without grave menace to the flat lands below her to 
the west. 

This was the period when Egypt, having thrown off the 
Hyksos yoke, was beginning to overflow into the fertile lands of 
Palestine. Not merely had the Shepherd Kings been driven back 
into Asia, but the irresistible wave which had thrust them forth 
surged over into Syria, where the impetuous Thutmose I carried 
his standards as far as the brown waters of the Euphrates. But 
there was another power besides Egypt in the arena, with equal 

1 The chronology of the earlier part of the Kassite period is difficult to 
settle. We are now approaching a time when we have the actual letters 
which passed between Egypt, Babylonia and northern Syria. Then, in 
addition, we have the later resumes afforded by the Synchronous History, 
not always above suspicion, and by Chronicle ‘P,’ on which the same 
comment may be made. Finally, we have the recently published important 
series of chronological tablets from Ashur, which give the Kassite con- 
temporaries for Assyrian kings, but even here the scribes made serious 
errors. In these circumstances it is impossible to reach conclusive results 
and the chronological scheme which has been adopted must be accepted 
with these reservations. All these dates therefore must be regarded as 
approximate. See the Appendix. 




capacity for expansion, springing forth from the oak-clad hills of 
Anatolia. Long before, the Hittite ruler, Murshil (Murshilish) I, 
probably three centuries or more before the raid of Thutmose I 
to the Euphrates, according to the description of his exploits on 
a clay tablet in his own native tongue, swept down through the 
Taurus passes from Boghaz Keui over the Amanus to Halpash 
(Aleppo) and took it. Following the bank of the Euphrates down 
its course, his freebooters raided Babylon. Indeed, this may be the 
raid mentioned in one of the Chronicles as happening in the reign 
of Shamash-ditana. It helps to fill out our understanding of Kassite 
history, and throws a light on the Egyptian campaigns of the later 
time, for although Egypt was subsequently able to expand as far 
as the Euphrates, the Hittites apparently as yet ignored, her. That 
is to say, a Hittite expedition to Babylon troubled little about 
exposing its flank, its line of communications, and its retreat by 
the River, to attack by the Egyptians. If this really be the truth 
of the case, it is a clear indication of the political conditions at 
the beginning of the second millenium. 

Assyria appears at this time to have been temporarily over- 
shadowed by the power of its western neighbour, Mitanni, the 
boundaries of which reached the left bank of the Euphrates. So 
strong was this state in the third quarter of the fifteenth century 
that its king Shaushshatar was able to invade Assyria and carry 
off from its chief city, Ashur, a great gate of gold and silver for 
re-erection as a trophy in the Mitanni capital, Washshukkani. 
If the early kings of Assyria really were Mitannians whom the 
Semites had subsequently ousted, the hostility is easily explicable 
(see vol. 1, p. 452 sg.). 

Two solid buffers therefore prevented the kingdoms of Assyria 
and Babylonia at this time from taking any very active part in 
the Palestinian and Syrian wars in the sixteenth to fourteenth cen- 
turies. These were, first, the people of Mitanni to the north-east 
of Syria, and, secondly, the desert itself to the east of Palestine. 
The battle-area lay west of the Euphrates, where Hittite, Mitan- 
nian, Amorite and Egyptian were to fly at each other’s throats 
over the possession of these fertile lands; Assyria and Babylonia 
were by comparison isolated, and, therefore, while the great 
powers, the Hittite and Egyptian, were exhausting themselves in 
these two or three centuries of perpetual fighting, Assyria was 
free to build a firm base for her own future empire by extending 
her conquests over the northern area and confining within a 
narrow compass the southern kingdom ruled by the Kassites 
until the twelfth century b.c. 


With the beginning of the fifteenth century, after this expansion 
of Hittite and Egyptian across each other’s paths, sprang up a 
long vendetta, with intervals of peace enforced by treaties between 
the two. Each sought the coast-lands of the eastern Mediterranean, 
2nd made warlike expeditions thither, and with this aim each 
used every endeavour to strengthen the forces at his disposal. 
Mitanni, which could at any moment threaten the eastern flank 
of an army in Syria, was courted equally by both; its royal family 
was bound by ties of marriage with Hatti and Egypt. Indeed, 
intermarriages between the courts had become very fashionable; 
even Egypt received into the royal harem a princess from remote 
Babylonia about 1400. Equally effective as a diplomatic aid 
were the douceurs of gold which those states whose mines pro- 
vided it were able to send to those whose favour they courted. 
Many a king, like a spoilt child surfeited with presents, became 
surly if he felt entitled to be dissatisfied with the small amount 
of gold sent, and he did not hesitate to grumble. This habit of the 
Oriental has never been more openly displayed than in some of 
the letters of this period. 

With the end of the sixteenth century Thutmose III (1501— 
1447) set out to complete the work of his illustrious ancestor. In 
the twenty-second year of his reign (counting from the date of 
his association with Hatshepsut) he invaded Palestine where the 
prince of Kadesh and his allies attempted vainly to withstand 
the Egyptian advance. The fame of this exploit reached the 
Assyrian king, who was not slow to turn it to his own account 
against his old foe Mitanni, and when the Egyptian king made 
a second thrust in his twenty-fourth year he was among the first 
to mark his friendliness to the conqueror with magnificent 
presents of lapis, gold and silver. His assessment of the potenti- 
alities of the Egyptian armies was justified. It was perhaps due 
to this diplomatic embassy from Assyria (with all the help and 
expectation it implied) that Thutmose crossed the Euphrates 
four years later and included Mitanni in his victorious advance 
(see pp. 73, 77). 

Assyria had certainly impressed the Egyptian king favourably. 
According to a passage in a cuneiform letter sent by one Adad- 
nirari to a king of Egypt, it appears that his grandfather Taku 
had been appointed by Thutmose III or I Y (called ‘Manakhbiya’) 
to be chief over the state of Nukhashshi. Taku, it is true, is not 
definitely an Assyrian name, but Adad-nirari is; so that although 
we cannot say that an Assyrian was appointed in the first instance, 
there are good grounds at all events for seeing an 4 Assyrianizing’ 




tendency developing in the offspring, possibly from the maternal 
side. Within twenty years of the first expedition of Thutmose III 
Egyptian control extended as far as Aleppo and Carchemish, and 
friendly relations were opened by Egypt with the Chief of 
Sengara, doubtless the Sinjar Hills between the Euphrates and 
Tigris, now occupied by the Yezidis. By this time so high did the 
Egyptian reputation stand that even the Hittite kings were pre- 
pared to send gifts to the conquering Pharaoh. 

Thus was the position of Assyria and Egypt at the dawn of 
the fifteenth century. Secure in the west, Assyria looked south- 
wards to guard herself against the Kassites of Babylonia. It was 
Puzur-Ashur IV (1486-1460 b.c.) who was astute enough to 
come to an arrangement with Burna-Buriash I (1461— 1436), 
making a treaty delimiting the frontiers between the two lands. 
From this time forth the Assyrians had little to fear from the 
Kassites; indeed, the Kassites, as far as we know, never really 
controlled this northern kingdom. 

Puzur-Ashur is not known as yet for any military exploit. He 
was the first after Sharru-kin to restore the temple of Ishtar in 
Ashur, which had fallen into decay, probably as a result of the 
Mitanni raid; and he was also the first to girdle the ‘New Town,’ 
or southern quarter of Ashur, with a defensive wall. His successor, 
and perhaps son, was Enlil-nasir (1439) of whom we know 
nothing; and as much may be said of the son of the latter, Ashur- 
rabi I (1440), and grandson, Ashur-nirari III (1425—1407). 

Contemporary Kassite history is almost equally vague. Burna- 
Buriash I was succeeded probably by Kurigalzu II (1435—14x1 
b.c.), whose help was solicited by the ‘Canaanites’ against Egypt 
and as promptly refused. So, at least, we are told in the ex parte 
professions of loyalty made some half-century later by Burna- 
Buriash II in his letter to Amenhotep IV (Ikhnaton) of Egypt. 
The Kassite king here reminds the Pharaoh that ‘his father,’ 
Kurigalzu, had been approached by the Kinakhkhi to join them 
in revolting against Egypt, but had returned answer that he would 
have no hand in annoying ‘his brother,’ the king of Egypt. These 
are the first relations between Kassite and Egyptian of which we 
know; otherwise the period of Kurigalzu II is a blank. 

There were good reasons for the temporary eclipse of Assyria 
and Babylonia, for Egypt was continuing its brilliant Palestinian 
campaign. Amenhotep II (1447-1420) made an expedition into 
Syria, which, although it can hardly be regarded as a victorious 
march, so far affected Mitanni that the latter sought the favour of 
Egypt. Thutmose IV (1420-1411), recognizing the importance 


of Mitanni, sought diplomatically to link the two kingdoms by a 
royal marriage, asking for the hand of the daughter of its king 
Artatama I, and, if the Mitanni version be true, had to ask seven 
times before she would consent. Mitanni was no pinchbeck 
kingdom at this time, for Artatama had made alliance with the 
Hittites; that the Egyptian king thus succeeded in connecting 
himself by marriage with Mitanni is evidence that Egypt was 
still regarded as a powerful factor west of the Euphrates in the 
second half of the fifteenth century b.c. 

It was a fact recognized both by Kara-indash, the Kassite 
(1410-1401), who probably succeeded Kurigalzu II, and his con- 
temporary Ashur-bel-nisheshu of Assyria. No matter what feel- 
ings the two kings of the Tigris valley might bear to each other, 
they were ready at all costs to show a bold front to an external 
enemy. They were so nervous about Egypt, the coquette now 
flirting with Mitanni, that they followed the custom of their 
fathers in swearing an agreement together, ostensibly about their 
boundaries, but doubtless not without a possible defensive war 
in view. At home they set their house in order; the Assyrian king 
re-fortified the weak spots in the ramparts of his citadel at the 
4 New Town’ of Ashur, and his brother, Ashur-rlm-nisheshu, who 
succeeded him, carried on the work of fortification still further. 

There was no real need. Amenhotep III (1411-1375), who 
succeeded Thutmose IV, sent his envoys to Kara-indash towards 
the end of the latter’s reign (so we are told by Burna-Buriash II) 
in all friendliness. The young Egyptian king had no desire to 
extend his conquests east of the Euphrates or northwards into 
the mountains, for, even omitting all question of the dangerous 
length of his Palestinian empire, neither he nor his people from 
warm Egypt liked the winter snows of the highlands or muddy 
rains of the winter season in Naharain. The Euphrates with its 
broad stream, often a quarter of a mile across in the reaches at 
Carchemish, constituted an admirable boundary. Beyond that, 
he hoped for friends, not foes, and by his judicious matrimonial 
ventures welded the Near East into some kind of diplomatic 
harmony. Instead of echoing with the clash of arms and warlike 
raids, the roads of Palestine gave passage to peaceful pageants of 
kings’ sisters and daughters, accompanied by hundreds of their 
maidens, travelling in state to royal nuptials. In the end we find 
one of these, the sister of Kadashman-Enlil I, probably the 
daughter of Kara-indash himself, going down to the harem of 
Amenhotep III; the Kassite king had learnt how groundless were 
his fears for the safety of Babylonia at. the hands of Egypt. 

234 ASSYRIA [chap. 

Already married to the beautiful Tiy, perhaps a Mesopotamian, 
Amenhotep III had allied himself with Mitanni by marrying, in 
his tenth year (1401), its princess Gilukhipa, the daughter of 
Shuttarna, and subsequently he took her own niece, Tadukhipa, 
the daughter of Tushratta and granddaughter of Shuttarna, who 
came down to Egypt dowered with all possible presents that such 
a princess could wish, a full inventory of which has been left by 
careful scribes. Again, not content with marrying the sister of 
Kadashman-Enlil, the uxorious Egyptian sought also to wed the 
daughter, in accordance with a custom certainly at that time 
popular. In return he sent his own daughter abroad in marriage, 
the king of the little state Arzawa, by name Tarkhundaraush (or 
Tarkhundaraba), being thus honoured. Everywhere there was a 
reasonable peace; it was an easy period. 

Friendly alike to Kassite and Assyrian king, Amenhotep sent 
presents to the latter, who was now building his palace in Ashur; 
what more opportune than twenty talents of gold for the more 
lavish decoration of its walls? Ashur-nadin-akhi (1396) was the 
favoured recipient of this gift, as Ashur-uballit tells us; he lived 
at peace on the Tigris, constructed his dwellings, dug his wells, 
and his son Eriba-Adad (1390) kept them in good order, and, 
when other amusements failed, made additions to the great 
temple E-Kharsag-kurkura, until his time came to depart from 
this world, when he was buried in the particular tomb (bit sha 
pagrt), in the heart of the capital, of which the Broken Obelisk 
speaks. His successor Ashur-uballit (1386-1369) is said to have 
subdued Musri and Shubarl. At one time he was in close cor- 
respondence with Amenhotep IV, at least so far as the SutI 
bedouin, who held the routes between the two lands, would 
permit, and one of his letters shows that he was in a position to 
ask for, if not to demand, twenty talents of gold from the Egyptian 
king. But Burna-Buriash II, the Kassite king (1 39 5 — x 371), learnt 
of these pourparlers, and a jealous fear of Assyrian pre-eminence 
at the Egyptian court led him to urge a strong protest. He, too, 
had written frequently to Amenhotep IV, now hoping that friend- 
ship would continue between Egypt and Babylonia as it was in 
the days of Amenhotep III, and now making a request for gold, 
like Ashur-uballit, because he was building a temple, probably 
that of Enlil at Nippur. He had cemented the friendship between 
the two lands by the betrothal or marriage of his son with Amen- 
hotep’s daughter, who lived in Egypt at her father’s court; and 
on one occasion he sent her a present of a necklet of 1048 beads, 
counting them with due caution lest unauthorized hands should 



take their toll of them on its long journey. When, therefore, he 
heard of Ashur-uballit’s friendliness with Egypt, as we have said, 
he protested. The sting was in the tail of one of his letters: ‘Now 
as for the Assyrians who are my dependents, I myself wrote to 
thee about them. Why have they come to thy land? If thou 
lovest me, they shall bring about no result; let them attain vanity 
only.’ He left nothing to chance, however, and, an Assyrian 
princess, the daughter of Ashur-uballit, by name Muballitat- 
sherua(or -erua), was sought by him in marriage, either for himself 
or much more probably for his son Kara-khardash 1 . 

She bore a son Kadashman-Kharbe, who in due time came to 
the Kassite throne (1369— 1368 b.c.), and one of his exploits was 
to repress the bedouin tribes, the Suti roaming the western desert, 
who, as was mentioned above, had been in control of the road to 
Egypt from Assyria in Ashur-uballit’s time, so that the latter had 
feared, as he says, to send back the Egyptian envoys. Kadashman- 
Kharbe drove them back vigorously into their deserts, and estab- 
lished a chain of blockhouses with wells as a barrier against their 
inroads. Indeed, at a later time (at some period before the ninth 
century) so impudent did they become that they raided Sippar 
and burnt its temple to the Sun. The Shammar and Aneyzeh of 
modern times inherit their characteristics. 

But civil war suddenly broke out in Babylonia, about 1368 
b.c.; and the Kassite people, incited to revolution, murdered 
Kadashman-Kharbe and elected either Nazibugash or Shuzigash 
— there are two accounts — to the Kassite throne. The Chronicle 
‘P’ says that this rebellion was ‘after’ Kadashman-Kharbe’s 
energetic action against the Suti. We cannot say whether the 
Assyrian queen-mother was unpopular; but there was evidently 
a rising feeling against Assyria (as the letter of Burna-Buriash II 
to Ikhnaton shows), and it is more than probable that there was 
an anti-Assyrian party in Nippur who fanned the natural anger 
of the Suti against Kadashman-Kharbe into a blaze, so that these 
wild tribes were ready to help oust this half-breed Kassito- 
Assyrian from the throne. Moreover, by now the Egyptian con- 
trol of Palestine and Syria was slipping from the lax hold of 
Ikhnaton, who thought more of his ‘Sun-disk Movement’ than 

1 The Chronicle known as £ P’ calls the latter Kara-indash, but the 
Synchronous History is more probably right in giving the form Kara- 
khardash, since one of the new cuneiform tablets from Ashur is a letter 
directed to Kara-khardash and a princess, and is probably the draft of a 
letter of Ashur-uballit to this son-in-law and daughter ( K.J.H . , 1920, 
No. 97). 

236 ASSYRIA [chap. 


of statesmanship; and it may be that the Kassite people, perhaps 
displeased at the 1 Egyptianizing ’ tendency of their Royal Line 
as a form of copying or truckling to Assyria, seized the oppor- 
tunity of bringing it to an end. 

Ashur-uballit, still on the Assyrian throne, although by no 
means a young man, had no hesitation about acting vigorously on 
behalf of his grandson. He led or sent an expedition down 
against the usurper and overthrew his party, who were not strong 
enough to withstand the Assyrian forces. If they had expected 
any aid from the SutI, they should have known better than to 
rely on such tribesmen for persistent or difficult effort. The 
wheel of Fortune turned again : the usurper was killed and the 
Assyrian king left the government of the country in the hands 
of his great-grandson Kurigalzu III, who can hardly have been 
more than a child when the revolt took place, and must have been 
lucky to escape being murdered. 

There is no reason to suppose that Kurigalzu was a baby when 
he came to the throne; sikhru , as he was called, means in general 
‘young,’ and may well signify a boy here. If we reckon that 
Ashur-uballit was seventeen when his daughter Muballitat- 
(sh)erua was born, and that she was sixteen when she bore 
Kadashman-Kharbe, who in his turn may have been only seventeen 
at the birth of Kurigalzu, Ashur-uballit’s age need not have been 
more than fifty when his great-grandson was born; and if Kuri- 
galzu III was fifteen when he was on the throne, the Assyrian 
king need have been only sixty-five when he championed his 
cause. The curious point is that we cannot in fact assign a very 
long reign to Ashur-uballit: the new Ashur synchronisms seem 
to show that he was a contemporary of the latter part of the reign 
of Burna-Buriash II, and that before Kurigalzu was dead or 
deposed he had been succeeded by Enlil-nirari, 

We do not know if Elam had had any hand in the revolt, but 
the first activity of Kurigalzu III was to lead a campaign against 
its king Khurbatilla. So successful was he that he took the Elamite 
king prisoner at Dur-Dungi, and captured large booty; but un- 
happily contemporaneous events in remote lands made themselves 
felt in his kingdom, and nullified the advantage he had gained 
over his neighbour. 

It fell out in this way. Ikhnaton was nearing the end of his 
reign, and his Asiatic provinces were seething with revolt. The 
reiterated and pathetic appeals from his loyal governors in Asia 
for help against the rebels fell on deaf ears and in the end the 
rebels threw off the Egyptian yoke (see pp. 302 sqq). With this 


gradual decadence of Egypt had come a corresponding Hittite 
rise. Shubbiluliuma, the Hittite king (c. 141 1-1359), was bound 
by treaty with Egypt, but it was probably not from any love 
which he bore to her, for the Hittite and Egyptian royal houses 
were not yet inter-related by marriage, and we may reasonably 
consider that the great Syrian revolt against Egypt was a source 
of satisfaction to the Hittites, even if it were not actually fomented 
by them. When, therefore, as one of the Amarna letters seems to 
imply (No. lxxxvi), Mitanni, probably under Tushratta (c. 1399- 
1360), attempted to help the Egyptians by trying — and unsuc- 
cessfully — to relieve Simyra on the Phoenician coast, the key to 
the military situation, the Hittite king was naturally displeased. 
Whether it was post hoc or propter hoc we do not know, but 
Shubbiluliuma invaded Mitanni and brought the neighbouring 
land of Ishuwa under his control. There was an emeute in Mitanni, 
and Tushratta was murdered by his son Artatama: his elder 
brother had met with a similar fate (p. 301). 

It was the moment for Assyria. ‘The land of Mitanni was 
ruined; the men of Assyria and Alshe divided it.’ Alshe, doubtless 
the Alzi of Tiglath-pileser I, must have been a neighbour of both 
Assyria and Mitanni. The north and west were now harmless 
against Assyria, and it was a favourable opportunity to deal with 
the southern Kassite kingdom. Enlil-nirari, the Assyrian king 
(1368— 1346) was quick to seize it. He led an expedition against 
Kurigalzu III and the two armies encountered each other at 
Sugagi (or Zugagi) on the Tigris; the Assyrian king utterly routed 
Kurigalzu, and then altered the frontier line between the two 
countries to suit his own ideas. His success was definite; it is 
recorded in both Chronicles, and it is mentioned as a heroic 
tradition in an inscription of his grandson, Adad-nirari I : ‘ Enlil- 
nirari, the priest of Ashur, who destroyed the army of the Kassites, 
whose hand overcame all his enemies, who enlarged boundary 
and border.’ There is even a fleeting reference to the war on a 
‘ boundary stone’ ( kudurru ) of the time of Kashtiliash III, found at 
Susa; ‘during the war (siltu) with Shubartu Kurigalzu saw it’ (i.e. 
a certain parcel of land). 

Artatama II on the throne of Mitanni apparently welcomed the 
Assyrians. But there was obviously a hostile faction in this 
country ready to put on the throne Mattiuaza, the son of Tush- 
ratta. The prime movers were the Harri, and Mattiuaza was 
driven forth by Shuttarna, Artatama’s son, lest he should seize 
the kingdom. Shuttarna curried favour with Assyria by restoring 
the doors of silver and gold which had been carried off by 




Shaushshatar in his raid; he treated the Harri with such severity 
that they fled to the Kassites. But the Kassite king was not inclined 
to anger the Assyrians again, and he promptly distrained on the 
fugitives, seizing their property and two hundred chariots. Mitanni 
was by now in woeful plight; the inhabitants were starving. 

It was then that the Hittite king Shubbiluliuma came to the 
rescue, alive to the advantage of having a friend and not an 
enemy as ruler over Mitanni. ‘ In order that the land of Mitanni, 
the great land, might not disappear,’ the great king Shubbiluliuma 
sent practical relief in the form of food; he drove out the Assyrians 
and the men of Alshe; he put Mattiuaza on this throne and gave 
him his daughter in marriage. Yet what he feared came to pass 
presently, for the very name Mitanni died out of cuneiform 
records, although it may perhaps survive in the modern Metina, 
a name for a mountainous district a day’s march north-west from 
Mardln 1 . 

By this time, at the death of Ikhnaton (1358), Egypt had lost 
Palestine and Syria. The Hittite king who had driven the 
Assyrians out of Mitanni had laid secure foundations for his two 
sons,Arnuwandash 11(1358-1356) and Murshil II (1355-1330); 
the powerful Amurru were their friends, and Murshil did not 
forget their help when he ousted a usurping dynasty from the 
old Amurru (Amorite) possession of Barga, south of Aleppo. But 
Assyria was not affected by such a small set-back: Enlil-nirari’s 
son Arik-den-ilu (1345-1306), if negative evidence counts for 
anything, was too strong to be attacked by his contemporaries on 
the Kassite throne (Burna-Buriash III [?], Kurigalzu IV [ ?] and 
Nazi-Maruttash II) and, from what his son Adad-nirari tells us, he 
was free for vigorous thrusts elsewhere. With the Kassites still 
feeling the effects of their defeat, he was able to consolidate his 
empire from the Persian border on the east to Commagene on the 
west. His first expedition against the Yashubakula (probably the 
Yasubigalla of Sennacherib), was completely successful, although 
they had put seven thousand men in the field. Then he conquered 
Nigimti, besieged the city Arnuni, and apparently slew the hostile 
commander, Esini, who had thirty-three chariots at his command. 
Turukl, probably near the Persian frontier, and ICuti, east of the 
Lesser Zab, must be included in his eastern successes; Kutmukh, 
and even the tribes of the Akhlamu and Sutu, always troublesome 
in the western deserts, mark his western exploits. 

The old smouldering hostility between the Kassites and Assyria 

1 See Kiepert’s map illustrating von Oppenheim’s Vom Mittelmeer zum 
Persischen Golf. 


broke again into flame in the time of Adad-nirari I (1305-1277), 
and one of the early successes of the latter king was when he 
defeated Nazi-Maruttash II at ‘Kar-Ishtar of Akarsallu.’ The old 
frontier was again altered, running now from the land of Pilaski 
on the far side of the Tigris, from Arman-akarsali to Lulume 
(east of Khanikin). Not without reason did he claim to be ‘the 
destroyer of the mighty hosts of the Kassites.’ 

Secure in the south, the Assyrian king was able to expand his 
empire in the north. He claims to have trampled down the lands 
of his foes ‘from Lupdu and Rapiku to Elukhat,’ giving the 
names of the towns he captured in detail; his domain now spread 
from the hills of Persia to the fertile red lands of Harran, as far 
as Carchemish. As yet so far and no farther: this is the old western 
Mitanni boundary, and beyond it he would meet the Hittites, a 
power which he was not yet strong enough to overthrow. During 
his warfare in the north he left behind him, perhaps in dedication, 
the bronze scimitar inscribed with his name which is said to have 
been found at Mardln or Diarbekr. Yet although he might not 
meet the Hittites in the field, his fame had reached them, as is 
testified by a fragment of a letter found at Boghaz Keui, with 
its phrase ‘your lord, Adad-nirari.’ In fact, there was a very 
distinct line of cleavage between the Tigris valley and the Hittites; 
the boundary between them was the Euphrates, and we do not 
find rencontres frequent. Now was beginning the period of the 
XIXth Dynasty (see chap, vii), during which there were famous 
wars and treaties between Egypt and the Hittites, which directly 
concern Assyria little or not at all. Finally, after a hundred years 
more, the great Hittite dynasty was to fall out of the political 
horizon at the death of Dudkhaliash III. Murshil II (1355— 
1330) apparently never pushed east of the Euphrates; Car- 
chemish, and Gashgash (the Kashka of Tiglath-pileser I) to the 
north of Commagene represented his eastern boundaries. He and 
the Assyrian glared at each other across the River, without ven- 
turing to dispute possession; but the Assyrian empire had at last 
reached the Euphrates. 

The Hittite throne went first to Mutallu (1329—1290), the 
eldest son of Murshil, and then the second son Hattushil (1289— 
1256?), who was fully alive to the advantage of Kassite hostility 
against Assyria. He was in correspondence with the successor to 
Nazi-Maruttash II, Kadashman-Turgu (1293—1277), with whom 
he made a treaty of alliance. So long as Assyria was threatened 
even a little in the south, she would find ample scope for her 
northern activities east of the Euphrates without taking responsi- 




Shaushshatar in his raid; he treated the Harri with such severity 
that they fled to the Kassites. But the Kassite king was not inclined 
to anger the Assyrians again, and he promptly distrained on the 
fugitives, seizing their property and two hundred chariots. Mitanni 
was by now in woeful plight; the inhabitants were starving. 

It was then that the Hittite king Shubbiluliuma came to the 
rescue, alive to the advantage of having a friend and not an 
enemy as ruler over Mitanni. ‘ In order that the land of Mitanni, 
the great land, might not disappear,’ the great king Shubbiluliuma 
sent practical relief in the form of food; he drove out the Assyrians 
and the men of Alshe; he put Mattiuaza on this throne and gave 
him his daughter in marriage. Yet what he feared came to pass 
presently, for the very name Mitanni died out of cuneiform 
records, although it may perhaps survive in the modern Metina, 
a name for a mountainous district a day’s march north-west from 
Mardln 1 . 

By this time, at the death of Ikhnaton (1358), Egypt had lost 
Palestine and Syria. The Hittite king who had driven the 
Assyrians out of Mitanni had laid secure foundations for his two 
sons, Arnuwandash 11(1358-1356) and Murshil II (135 5-1 330); 
the powerful Amurru were their friends, and Murshil did not 
forget their help when he ousted a usurping dynasty from the 
old Amurru (Amorite) possession of Barga, south of Aleppo. But 
Assyria was not affected by such a small set-back: Enlil-nirari’s 
son Arik-den-ilu (1345-1306), if negative evidence counts for 
anything, was too strong to be attacked by his contemporaries on 
the Kassite throne (Burna-Buriash III [?], Kurigalzu IY [?] and 
Nazi-Maruttash II) and, from what his son Adad-nirari tells us, he 
was free for vigorous thrusts elsewhere. With the Kassites still 
feeling the effects of their defeat, he was able to consolidate his 
empire from the Persian border on the east to Commagene on the 
west. His first expedition against the Yashubakula (probably the 
Yasubigalla of Sennacherib), was completely successful, although 
they had put seven thousand men in the field. Then he conquered 
Nigimti, besieged the city Arnuni, and apparently slew the hostile 
commander, Esini, who had thirty-three chariots at his command. 
Turuki, probably near the Persian frontier, and Kuti, east of the 
Lesser Zab, must be included in his eastern successes; Kutmukh, 
and even the tribes of the Akhlamti and Sutu, always troublesome 
in the western deserts, mark his western exploits. 

The old smouldering hostility between the Kassites and Assyria 

1 See Kiepert’s map illustrating von Oppenheim’s Fom Mittelmeer • 
Persiscken Golf. 


broke again into flame in the time of Adad-nirari I (1305-1277), 
and one of the early successes of the latter king was when he 
defeated Nazi-Maruttash II at ‘Kar-Ishtar of Akarsallu.’ The old 
frontier was again altered, running now from the land of Pilaski 
on the far side of the Tigris, from Arman-akarsali to Lulume 
(east of Khanikin). Not without reason did he claim to be ‘the 
destroyer of the mighty hosts of the Kassites.’ 

Secure in the south, the Assyrian king was able to expand his 
empire in the north. He claims to have trampled down the lands 
of his foes ‘from Lupdu and Rapiku to Elukhat,’ giving the 
names of the towns he captured in detail; his domain now spread 
from the hills of Persia to the fertile red lands of Harran, as far 
as Carchemish. As yet so far and no farther: this is the old western 
Mitanni boundary, and beyond it he would meet the Hittites, a 
power which he was not yet strong enough to overthrow. During 
his warfare in the north he left behind him, perhaps in dedication, 
the bronze scimitar inscribed with his name which is said to have 
been found at Mardln or Diarbekr. Yet although he might not 
meet the Hittites in the field, his fame had reached them, as is 
testified by a fragment of a letter found at Boghaz Keui, with 
its phrase ‘your lord, Adad-nirari.’ In fact, there was a very 
distinct line of cleavage between the Tigris valley and the Hittites; 
the boundary between them was the Euphrates, and we do not 
find rencontres frequent. Now was beginning the period of the 
XIXth Dynasty (see chap, vn), during which there were famous 
wars and treaties between Egypt and the Hittites, which directly 
concern Assyria little or not at all. Finally, after a hundred years 
more, the great Hittite dynasty was to fall out of the political 
horizon at the death of Dudkhaliash III. Murshil II (1355— 
1330) apparently never pushed east of the Euphrates; Car- 
chemish, and Gashgash (the Kashka of Tiglath-pileser I) to the 
north of Commagene represented his eastern boundaries. He and 
the Assyrian glared at each other across the River, without ven- 
turing to dispute possession; but the Assyrian empire had at last 
reached the Euphrates. 

The Hittite throne went first to Mutallu (1329—1290), the 
eldest son of Murshil, and then the second son Hattushil (1289— 
1256?), who was fully alive to the advantage of Kassite hostility 
against Assyria. He was in correspondence with the successor to 
Nazi-Maruttash II, Kadashman-T urgu (1293-1277), with whom 
he made a treaty of alliance. So long as Assyria was threatened 
even a little in the south, she would find ample scope for her 
northern activities east of the Euphrates without taking responsi- 




bilities farther west. No Hittite king would now consider himself 
justified in campaigning in Palestine with his left flank exposed 
to hostility from the Assyrian side of the River, and all the records 
show how carefully Murshil, Mutallu and Hattushil secured 
themselves by friendship with the kinglets of Barga, Aleppo, 
Carchemish, Arvad and Kadesh, and the powerful Amurru, even 
intermarrying with the latter about the second quarter of the 
thirteenth century. The Syrian princes thoroughly understood the 
virtue of combination, and were as ready to band themselves 
together now, just as they did later against Shalmaneser III in the 
ninth century. 

With the death of Kadashman-Turgu (1277) Babylonia seethed 
with discontent. There must have been some faction hostile to 
the ruling king (possibly with pro-Assyrian tendencies), for 
Hattushil wrote to the notables of Karduniash threatening hostility 
if they did not accept Kadashman-Turgu’s son, Kadashman-Enlil, 
as their king, but, on the other hand, promising active help in 
war (that is, of course, against Assyria) if they concurred. He also 
reminds the young king that even Itti-Marduk-balatu, Kadash- 
man-Enlil’s own minister, had repudiated any external champion- 
ship on his behalf. One remark which he made reiterates the 
usual difficulty of communication between the two countries; 
this time it is the Akhlamu, the wild tribes of Babylonia, who had 
been the cause of delay in negotiations. 


The accession of Shalmaneser I (1276-1257) to the throne of 
Assyria came at the period when the Hittite-Egyptian wars were 
ending and the Great Treaty between Hattushil and Ramses II 
was about to be made (1266). The monument of this Assyrian 
king, found lately at Ashur, indicates the rapid advance of Assyrian 
power, for it shows how his first exploit was to invade the north, 
including Uruadri (i.e. Urartu, Armenia) and the lands of 
Khimme, Uadkun, Bargun, Salua, Khalila, Lukha, Nilipakhri, 
and Zingun, which he subdued after three days’ hard fighting, 
and made to pay tribute. Khimme and Lukha we meet again in 
the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser I (1115-1103), for they sent 
aid to the people of ‘Sugi, which is in the land of Kirkhi.’ 

The Hittite power was waning. Shalmaneser marched to ‘the 
city of Arina a strongly-fortified mountain,’ which had revolted 
‘despising the god Ashur’; and he destroyed it, sprinkling 
kutime (‘ashes’) thereon. Having, as his inscription says, brought 




all Musri, or part of Cappadocia, into subjection, the king con- 
tinued his victorious campaign by invading Hani (i.e. Hani- 
galbat). Its king, Shattuara (whose name is reminiscent of 
Shaushshatar, Shuttarna and Shutatarra of Mitanni in the pre- 
ceding centuries) brought to his aid the Hittites and the Akhlamu, 
and, by cutting off the water which the Assyrian army drank, 
was nearly successful. But Shalmaneser was too clever for him, for, 
apparently by mere weight of numbers, he defeated his foe and 
took fourteen thousand four hundred prisoners. After that, he 
invaded the highlands ‘from the city Taidi to the city Irridi,’ the 
whole of the mountains of Kashiari, as far as Elukhat, Sudi and 
Harran as far as Carchemish. Clearly the Assyrians regarded the 
inhabitants of the mountains to the north as more easily subdued 
than those of the plains; doubtless intercourse was far more 
difficult between villages in the mountains than between those on 
more level ground, and the Assyrian soldiery were able to deal 
piecemeal with an enemy in the highlands more successfully 
than they could have hoped to do in the open. 

On the other hand, the Kassites must have been a thorn in the 
side of the Assyrian king, for his expeditions, as far as we know, 
extended only west, north and east. He was able to subdue the 
Kuti to the east, but he left the Kassites alone, and it was not 
until the next reign that the southern kingdom was attacked, when 
Hattushil was no longer able to promise his aid. Even then, 
although they thus became an easy mark for Assyria, the conquest 
was only for a few years. 

Shalmaneser in his less warlike moments found time to rebuild 
the great temple of Ashur, E-Kharsag-kurkura. Originally 
founded by Ushpia, who, besides being ruler was also priest of 
the god, it had fallen into ruin, and Erishu restored it; again it 
decayed and Shamshi-Adad renewed it. Then five hundred and 
eighty years later, in the time of Shalmaneser, the ancient temple 
caught fire and was burnt to the ground, and with loving care 
Shalmaneser rebuilt the whole of it, in a manner befitting the 
dignity of Ashur. 

His son Tukulti-Ninurta (1256-1233) was a worthy successor. 
Before dealing with the Kassites, one of his first works was to 
continue his father’s consolidation in the north-west across the 
lands of Na’iri to Commagene, and subsequently to Mari, Hana 
and Rapiku. He transplanted 2 8, 8 00 of the people of Hatti to the 
east of the Euphrates ; he fought with forty-three kings of Na’iri 
and defeated them; and subdued ‘all the broad lands of Shubarl,’ 
including Alzi and Purukhumzi, which must be the Purukuzzi of 


C.A.H. II 

242 ASSYRIA [chap. 

later texts. There exists a curious little detail in confirmation of 
his invasion. An inscription found at Susa shows that a certain 
Agabtakha fled for refuge from Hanigalbat to Kashtiliash III 
(1249-1242) — not, be it noted, to the Hittites, but to Babylonia — 
and here he continued his trade of leather-worker, so common in 
the districts of the Upper Euphrates where the dwarf oaks used in 
tanning are plentiful. Clearly Tukulti-Ninurta’s campaign had 
made itself felt in Hanigalbat. 

But most striking of all Tukulti-Ninurta’s exploits was his 
overthrow of the Kassite power. Kadashman-Enlil II had been 
succeeded by Kudur-Enlil (1270-1263), of whom we know 
little more than that he was father of Shagarakti-Shuriash (1262— 
1250), who, according to Nabonidus, rebuilt a temple in Sippar. 
The debacle came after the latter’s death, when Kashtiliash III 
had come to the throne. The Hittites were no longer powerful to 
aid, nor were they concerned further with Syria. Now was the 
time to wipe off old scores. Tukulti-Ninurta challenged an issue. 
‘At the head of my warriors they ( i.e . the gods?) marched.’ He 
fought Kashtiliash III (1249-1242), defeated him and took him 
prisoner. He destroyed the ramparts of Babylon and killed many 
of the inhabitants; and among the booty which he carried off to 
Assyria was the statue of Marduk, doubtless out of E-Sagila, 
and a signet of the preceding king Shagarakti-Shuriash. So 
thorough was his conquest that he governed the country for 
seven years, actually appointing Assyrian governors. He retired 
to Assyria to build himself a new capital, Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta, 
and boast that he was ‘king of Ashur and Karduniash, of Sumer 
and Akkad, of Sippar and Babylon, of Dilmun and Melu- 

His rule over his new province was disastrous. The first 
governor appointed over the Kassites was a native Assyrian, 
Enlil-nadin-shum, and it is obvious that his office was no sinecure. 
Hardly had he taken up the reins of power when the Elamite 
army, ready to take advantage of any diversion, swept down on 
him under the king, Kidin-Khutrutash, and sacked Nippur and 
Der. This was too much for the Assyrian king, and Enlil-nadin- 
shum abruptly ceased to govern the Kassites — ‘ended his rule,’ as 

1 An inscription found at Susa states that Untash-Gal, son of Khuban- 
numena, king of Anzan, carried off Immiriya, the god of Kashtiliash, and 
putit in Siyankuk (Scheil, Deleg. en Perse, x, 85). If this be Kashtiliash III, 
we have to include an Elamite invasion of Babylonia probably coincident 
with the success of the Assyrian arms. Scheil, however, is inclined on epi- 
graphical grounds to think of Kashtiliash I. 


the Assyrian historian puts it. His rule lasted nomore than eighteen 
months (1241), and it is not improbable that when he was relieved 
of his office he was made governor of Nippur. At least, a man of 
this name governed Nippur in the time of Adad-shum-iddin. A 
Kassite, Kadashman-Kharbe II (1240—1239), was diplomatically 
chosen to succeed him, and after an equally short tenure he was 
succeeded by Adad-shum-iddin, who ruled for six years (1238— 
1233). Then came an upheaval, a revolution in Assyria. If we 
are to believe the statement that the Assyrians governed Baby- 
lonia for only seven years this revolt must have occurred about 
1233. The nobles of Akkad and Karduniash intrigued with 
Ashur-nadin (or nasir)-apli, the son of Tukulti-Ninurta of Assyria, 
and raised the standard of rebellion. The old Assyrian king 
was trapped in his new capital, besieged and murdered by his 

Exactly when in Adad-shum-iddin’s reign the Elamites made 
a second raid we do not know: but Kidin-Khutrutash again 
attacked Babylonia, reaching Ishin. It is probable that it was in 
one of these expeditions that two ‘knobs’ (or phalli) discovered 
at Susa were carried off; one had been devoted to Enlil by Kuri- 
galzu 1 1 (?) , son of Burna-Buriash I (?), and the other by Shagarakti- 
Shuriash. An agate scaraboid dedicated to Kadi by Kurigalzu met 
the same fate. As Father Scheil suggests, the love of souvenir- 
collecting was as prevalent then as now. 

Of Tukulti-Ninurta’s son Ashur-nadin-apli we know nothing 
except that he murdered his father. After his reign Ashur-nirari 
III came to the throne (1213-1208), and we find the king of 
Karduniash, Adad-shum-nasir (1232—1203), writing to Ashur- 
nirari (‘ Ashur-narara’) curiously enough with one Nabu-dayani 
as joint kings of Assyria 1 . A late copy of this letter (K. 3045) is 
extant; it is modelled on the form of Hammurabi’s letters, and, 
it must be admitted, is not friendly in tone, but goes so far as to 
speak of the mad counsels of the two Assyrian kings. We must 
therefore assume a rising hostility between the two countries, 
which came to a head when the next Assyrian king, Enlil-kudur- 
usur (1207—1203), again challenged the Kassite power and fought 
Adad-shum-nasir. Both these latter kings appear to have been 
killed, and Ninurta-apal-ekur, the next king (1202—1176), who 
was possibly not Enlil-kudur-usur’s son, but perhaps a de- 
scendant of Eriba-Adad, carried on the war, but returned to 

1 The text, Weidner, M.D.V.G. 1921, p. 14, makes Ashur-nirari a 
contemporary of Adad-shum-iddin (and not of Adad-shum-nasir), which 
is shown by this letter to be obviously impossible. 

16 2 




Assyria, apparently so hard-pressed that he had to reinforce his 
army with reserves. The Synchronous History is broken at this 
point, but it would appear that the new king of Babylonia, 
Meli-Shlpak II (1202-1188), pursued him in an attempt to 
conquer Assyria, but was defeated and driven back into his own 
land. A few years’ peace intervened, and then the armies of 
the two nations met again. Meli-Shlpak II 1 had been succeeded 
by his son Marduk-apal-iddin (1187-1175) and he by Ilbaba- 
shum-iddin (1x74). Ashur-dan I (11 75-11 41) had replaced 
Ninurta-apal-ekur. In 1 1 74 the Assyrian king attacked Karduniash, 
and captured the towns of Zaban, Irriya and Akarsallu, doubtless 
near the frontier, and carried off their booty to Assyria. Worse 
followed: the Elamites seized their opportunity, swept down 
from the mountains under Shutruk-N akhkhunte and slew 
Ilbaba-shum-iddin, and the Elamite king with his son Kutir- 
nakhkhunte sacked Sippar. It was the end of Kassite dominion; 
one more king ascended the throne, Enlil-nadin-akhe (1173— 
1x69), the Kassite dynasty fell, and then arose a new power in 
Babylonia, the ‘Pashe’ dynasty. 

So came to an end the great Kassite dynasty which had in- 
cluded thirty-six kings and endured for 576 years 9 months. 
That they were not entirely eliminated we may possibly infer 
from a bombastic title, ‘spoiler of the Kassites,’ which Nebu- 
chadrezzar I, the third king of the Pashe dynasty, gives himself. 
But in any case they must have been powerless. This long period 
is not marked by any salient advance either in literature, art or 
conquest, and there is little to show that the people had any 
capacity for invention or poetry. They introduced a new system 
of dating, and brought in the horse. Their kings were alert to 
the importance of securing the goodwill of the people, and, with 
the double intention of conferring benefits on the great land- 
owners, and of winning their loyalty, they bestowed large estates 
on those who served them. Kurigalzu III, for instance, in his brief 
reign gave a parcel of land to one Enlil-bani, a priest of Enlil, 
the patron-god of Nippur, whose worship the Kassites adopted. 
This grant was reaffirmed to the descendants by a successor, 
Kadashman-Enlil, that is, at a period subsequent to Enlil-nirari’s 
defeat of the Kassites; and it may be that such a catastrophe 
intervened to annul such rights. Grants of this nature are frequent 
on the so-called ‘boundary stones’ (kudurrus). 

1 We know the name of his daughter Khunnubat-Nana, who was 
probably a priestess. She is portrayed wearing a long robe from her neck to 
her ankles, holding a harp (Scheil, Deleg. x, pi. 13). 




Equally the Kassites accepted the religion of Babylonia, although 
the names of their ancient gods appear in their personal names. 
Almost all the deities invoked in the kudurrus (‘boundary stones’) 
are the familiar Mesopotamian powers, and at the same time such 
native deities as Shukamuna and Shumalia, ‘the queen of the 
snowy heights’ of the Persian border, as well as Tishpak of Der, 
occur side by side with them. Ignorant of writing, the invaders 
had adopted cuneiform and learnt the Babylonian tongue. The 
Temple at Nippur was not only a depository for temple-archives, 
but had also a school attached, as the numerous ‘practice-tablets’ 
discovered by the American expedition show. It was held in high 
veneration, the very kings themselves at this period being the 
chief administrators. The officials of the land are many and 
various. Among the most important is the guenna , responsible to 
the king, with a large staff of administrative clerks ; for example, on 
a boundary stone (No. Ill, published by L. W. King) Enlil-nadin- 
shum is guenna of Nippur. The bel-pakhati appears to be a pro- 
vincial governor. The shakin is over the larger towns, such as 
Babylon or Ishin (Isin), or even the little known Ushti, or even 
a district, Namar; and the khazannu , the mayor of a town or 
village, is doubtless equivalent to the modern agha or even higher. 
The sukkallu was still in existence (there was a sukkallu siru)\ the 
once supreme patesi is now only a king’s officer known by the 
title shak sharri. 

The Kassite dress of this period is doubtless very much the 
same as that which we find two centuries later. Duri-ulmash, the 
son of a Kurigalzu, who can hardly be later than the fourteenth 
century, is represented on his seal as wearing a long robe. Before 
Kurigalzu III, judging from a kudurru of which the inscription 
had been rubbed out in his time, the long robe was the cus- 
tomary dress, and the flounced dress in which a goddess is 
portrayed is reminiscent of Sumer, and may perhaps not represent 
what the Kassite women wore. Men retained their beards at this 
time and onwards: on a poorly sculptured kudurru of Meli- 
Shlpak the god, who wears a fringed and flounced robe with a 
high calathus-X\k& headdress, is bearded and his hair is long. A 
hundred years later a king, probably of the I Ind Dynasty of Isin, 
is attired in much the same way: his beard and hair are royally 
combed and oiled and he wears a long, richly-decorated robe 
with sleeves to the elbows, girt about with cross-belt and waistbelt; 
on his head is the same calathus- like headdress decorated with 
feathers, and on his feet are shoes. The weapons customary at 
this time are the mace, the dagger, and bows and arrows. 

246 ASSYRIA [chap. 

Princesses, as is shown in the portrait of Khunnubat-Nana, wore 
long robes. 

We have a picture of a private citizen in Babylonia on one of 
the kudurrus of about 1000 b.c. A certain Arad-Sibitti lived in or 
near the village of Sha-mamitu, which also boasted a jeweller, by 
name Burusha; and one day the former, for reasons unknown to 
us, flew into a passion with Burusha’s unfortunate slave-girl and 
killed her. The murderer was haled before the royal courts at 
Kar-Marduk, and his trial was a cause celebre , at which many 
notables were present. He pleaded his cause so well that the king 
condemned him merely to pay Burusha sevenfold, seven slaves, 
which he did. The record of the trial mentions that one of these 
slaves was practically decrepit; but doubtless one of the blemishes 
in Arad-Sibitti’s character shines out in his scribe’s description 
of him here, just as others do in the unflattering portrait by the 
sculptor. In the fulness of time Arad-Sibitti’s daughter Sag- 
mudammik-sharbe grew up, and Burusha’s son cast eyes upon 
her, and — in spite of the old feud — the families were united by 
the marriage of these two, and then it was that all the relations 
marked their appreciation of the reconciliation by lavish wedding 
presents in land and kind. We can see how they dressed at this 
time : the truculent Arad-Sibitti is portrayed as rather a common- 
looking person, with a long nose and unkempt beard and hair 
(indeed the artist, doubtless unintentionally, has suggested that 
date-wine was not unknown to him). He wears a long robe from 
neck to ankles, belted at the waist; like the modern inhabitant 
of the Near East, he must be shown holding his weapons, a bow 
and arrows. On his feet are sandals. His sister, who follows him 
meekly, is more pleasing to the eyes; her buxom figure is draped 
in a long dress, and her feet, as befits a housewife in these muddy 
villages, appear to be encased in sabots. 

The new dynasty of Babylonia, called Pashe, and accepted as 
the Ilnd Dynasty of Isin, consisted of eleven kings and lasted for 
1 32 years 6 months. The kings appear to be all native Babylonians, 
and among them is the name of at least one famous man, Nebu- 
chadrezzar I. 

The first king, Marduk-shapik-zeri (c. 1x69-1 153), came 
to the throne during the reign of Ashur-dan I, who had de- 
feated Ilbaba-shum-iddin the Kassite three or four years before. 
Neither he nor his successor, Ninurta-nadin-shum (1152— 1x47), 
have left us sufficient record of their doings. The Assyrian king, 
Ashur-dan, died, or perhaps was murdered in 1141; there is 
great probability that his successor, Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur (1 140— 


1138), was a usurper, since Ashur-resh-ishi and Tiglath-pileser I 
sternly omit him in their respective genealogical trees between 
Ashur-dan and the unimportant Mutakkil-Nusku. Indeed, a 
little additional colouring is given to this by an unintelligible 
broken line between Marduk-shapik-zeri and Ninurta-nadin- 
shum, in the new list, which evidently conceals some historical 
fact about Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur, who here is made contemporary 
with Marduk-shapik-zeri 1 . He was certainly a troublesome king, 
for we find on an ancient letter, which mentions also a Kassite 
Kharbi-Shlpak (‘a Khabirra’) that he was an active enemy against 
one Ashur-shum-lishir, possibly a ruler in Assyria. So great were 
the ravages committed that Ashur-shum-lishir fled for refuge to 
the king of Babylonia, who treated him with honour, and later 
on sent him home. Indeed, it was a time of misfortune for 
Assyria, for Tiglath-pileser relates that about 1 1 60 or 1170 the 
Mushkai (Moschi, Meshech) had overrun Alzi and Purukuzzi, 
which at this time were within the Assyrian dominion, as they 
had been since the time of Tukulti-Ninurta. See p. 274. 

Ninurta-nadin-shum was succeeded by a king with a great 
name, Nebuchadrezzar I (1146—1123). Two serious wars was 
Nebuchadrezzar compelled to wage, one against Elam and the 
other against Assyria, the latter doubtless arising out of the 
incident mentioned above. In the former he was successful; in the 
latter compaign he was finally defeated. He would appear also to 
have fought other campaigns, since he calls himself the subduer 
of Amurru, the lands of the Middle Euphrates, and ‘the hero. . . 
who overthrew the mighty Lullubl.’ 

The Elamites, possibly under Shilhak-In-Shushinak, invaded 
the land and carried terror with them. There was no withstanding 
them; the Babylonian troops met them in battle near the head- 
waters of the Uknl river in the south or south-east, and were 
soundly beaten, and retired on Dur-Apil-Sin. Nebuchadrezzar, 
driven back still further to Babylon, could but appeal to Marduk : 
‘How long, O Lord of Babylon, wilt thou dwell in the land of 
the enemy?’ Fugitives had come in for sanctuary from all sides; 
it was the moment for a final effort, and Nebuchadrezzar made 
it. In the middle of summer, in Tammuz, when the thermometer 
rises to 120° F., or, as the cuneiform account says, ‘the axehead 
burnt like fire and the tu[ka\t of the roads scorched like flame,’ 
Nebuchadrezzar went forth to war, and marched for more than 
two hundred miles from the city of Der, with his chariot-master 

1 On fragment D of Weidner ( M.D.F.G . 1915, p. 3) he is a con- 
temporary of Nebuchadrezzar I. 




Ritti-Marduk at his right hand. There were only rare watering- 
places on the road, and the army reached the river Eulaeus tor- 
mented by heat and thirst, where the opposing forces confronted 
each other. A duststorm arose, ^so that neither could see the other; 
the Elamites (who perhaps had left their cooler mountains in 
ignorance of the inferno which awaited them on the flat deserts 
below) were driven back to their mountains, and Nebuchadrezzar 
plundered their land. 

So pleased was he with the conduct of Ritti-Marduk that he 
made him the recipient of special favours, and granted concessions 
to his native town of Bit-Karziabku. Similarly he befriended two 
fugitives, Shamua and Shamal, of a priestly family from Din- 
Sharri, and brought their god Rla into Babylon and established 
it in a shrine in the village of Khussi, which was near Bit-Sin- 
asharidu, on the bank of the Takkiru canal. 

But he failed signally in his campaign against Assyria. The 
Assyrian king, Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur, had been succeeded by 
Mutakkil-Nusku (1x37—1128) and then by Ashur-resh-ishi I 
(1127— 1 1 16); the new Assyrian monarch was vigorous and 
energetic, and to his credit we must place the suppression of the 
Akhlamu, those nomads on the south-west, and a conquest of 
Lullume (Sir-i-pul) on the east. He was a man capable of dealing 
effectively with Nebuchadrezzar, and he promptly stopped the 
latter’s inroads. Nebuchadrezzar tried conclusions in battle with 
him and was routed; he was driven back home with the loss of 
forty chariots and his army commander. It was doubtless not 
long after this defeat that Nebuchadrezzar died, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Enlil-nadin-apli (1x22-1 1 17) 

We have now reached a period when Assyria is to dominate 
by sheer force the lands of the Two Rivers. Enlil-nadin-apli was 
succeeded in Babylonia by Marduk-nadin-akhe (1116— 1101); 
Tiglath-pileser came to the Assyrian throne about 1 1 1 5, where 
he remained for thirteen years 1 . 

Everywhere among the surrounding nations was decadence. 
Egypt, with the later Ramessids, was nearing its fall. The Hittite 
empire had been engulfed at the beginning of the twelfth century 
by the hordes from the west, of which we have already heard an 
echo as far east as Alzi and Purukuzzi, on the old north-west 
confines of Assyria, which the Moschi had captured about 

Babylonia was governed by a dynasty which was rapidly to 
become weak, and be followed by equally ineffective groups of 
1 On the chronology see the Appendix. 


kings ‘of the sea-lands,’ ‘of Bazi,’ and the like. It was the oppor- 
tunity for a vigorous Assyrian to display his prowess, to enlarge 
his boundaries of his country; and Tiglath-pileser took it. 

His first exploit was to regain the revolted provinces of Alzi 
and Purukuzzi which had for fifty years been under control of 
the Moschi. So impudent had these latter become that five of 
their kings with an army of twenty thousand set forth against 
Kummukh (Commagene) about 1 1 1 5, and Tiglath-pileser hastened 
valiantly to meet this invasion of his outlying provinces. ‘ By the 
help of Ashur, my lord,’ he says, ‘ I gathered my war-chariots and 
assembled my troops; I delayed not, but crossed Kashiari (the 
Karaja Dagh), a rugged land. With their twenty thousand men 
and their five kings I fought in Commagene and defeated them.’ 
He slew many, cut off the heads of the corpses and piled them in 
heaps, and carried back six thousand as prisoners to Assyria. 

Commagene, however, appears not to have been grateful. 
Hardly had Tiglath-pileser destroyed the enemy’s forces when 
Commagene flaunted its refusal to pay the Assyrian taxes. The 
Assyrian king showed them that they could take no liberties; he 
carried fire and sword through their land, so that the inhabitants 
fled to Sherishe across the Tigris, making alliance with the Kurtl. 
A bloody fight followed; their king Kili-Teshub, the son of Kali- 
Teshub, who was also called Sarupi (or Irrupi), was captured, 
with a large booty. So terrifying was the news that the inhabitants 
of the fortress of Urrakhinash in the Panari mountains, taking 
their gods with them, fled, and their king Shadi-Teshub, the son 
of Hatushar, surrendered himself. The personal names, so ob- 
viously Hittite, show that Tiglath-pileser had to deal with 
descendants of the Hittite kings. 

Other countries in the neighbourhood were subdued : Mildish, 
near Mount Aruma, Shubarl, and again the recalcitrant Alzi and 
Purukuzzi. Then the king dealt with the outlying portions of 
what had once been the Hittite empire, four thousand men of 
Kashkai (another text has the variant Abeshlaya) and Uruma in 
Shubartu, ‘soldiers of the land of Hatti.’ The Kashkai we have 
already seen were included in the eastern boundary of the Hittite 
king Murshil II (13 5 5— 1330), but their former lords were 
powerless to help now. Their hearts turned to water and they 
submitted tamely, and Tiglath-pileser went home with large booty 
including 120 chariots or wagons. 

Yet for all his expeditions in these districts the fear of Assyria 
was still transient here. Commagene again proved troublesome; 
Tiglath-pileser once more sent a punitive expedition thither, and, 




as usual, the mountaineers took to their mountain fastnesses 
where he could not touch them. Now it was the Kurt! at the 
mountain Azu, where he conquered twenty-five cities at the foot 
of the mountains, which included the lands of Arzanibiu (i.e. 
Arzaniwiu = Arzanene); then the lands of Adaush, Saraush and 
Ammaush, near the mountain Aruma, the lands of Isua and 
Daria — all gave trouble. Many of them surrendered at discretion, 
for very fear of the great freebooter. It was hardly likely that the 
scattered mountain villages could resist a well-ordered expedition. 
They yielded with their tongues in their cheeks, ready to break 
out again in due time. 

Leaving the northern and western districts he went south-east, 
crossing the Lower Zab against the lands of Maruttash and 
Saradaush, ‘which are in the mountains of Asaniu and Atuma,’ 
and conquered them. But again the north broke out, the inde- 
fatigable Kurt! revolted; and finally he fought with twenty-three 
kings of the land of Na’iri and their allies. It is the north and west, 
always the north and west, which allow him no respite; Milidia 
(Malatia) in Hanigalbat, Carchemish, Mount Bishri (west of 
Carchemish), the very fringe of the old Hittite empire, to Musri 
(Cappadocia) with its city Arina and KumanI, identified with 
Comana of Cataonia. Altogether, as he sums up, from the 
beginning of his rule to the fifth year, he subdued and included 
in his realm forty-two countries from the other side of the Zab to 
the other side of the Euphrates. He left a portrait of himself 
graven in the rock at the Sebenneh-Su in Na’iri. One of his 
greatest exploits was to campaign along the sea-coast of the 
Mediterranean: he took toll of the cedars of Lebanon for his 
buildings, exacted tribute from Gebal (Byblus), Sidon and Arvad, 
and in ‘ships of Arvad’ made a voyage of ‘three land beru’ (about 
21 miles) to Simyra, killing a nakkiru (‘which they call a horse 
of the sea’) on the way. In a subsequent foray in the west among 
his tributaries were the cities of Tadmar (Tadmor, Palmyra) and 
Anat (Anah). One of the rock-sculptures at Nahr el-Kelb in 
Phoenicia, which is now so worn that its maker is doubtful, may 
perhaps be his work. 

As befitted a great conqueror, he was a mighty hunter, and 
the plains of the Khabur, the affluent of the Euphrates, yielded 
him trophy of elephants, while near Araziki (the classical Eragiza) 
he slew wild bulls; perhaps he is romancing when he says that he 
killed a hundred and twenty lions on foot, and eight hundred 
from his chariot. He was also a great architect; he rebuilt the 
temples of Ishtar, Martu and of Bel ‘the older,’ of Anu and Adad, 


Akhlamu, EF 5 
Akkad, EF 5 
Alzi, C 3 

Amanus Mts, B 3 
Anaida, D 3 
Amorites, BC 4, 5 
Araziki, B 4 
Arbela, F 3 
Arvad, A 4 
Arzanibiii, CD 2 
Arzukhina, EF 4 
Ashur, E 4 
Assyria, BE 3, 4 

Babylon, F 5 
Babylonia, E 5, F 6 
Barga, B 4 
Beirut, A 5 
Bishri, Mt., B 3 
Borsippa, F 5 

Carchemish, B 3 

I)er ez-Zor, C 4 
Dur-Kurigalzu, F 5 

Elam, H 5, 6 
Erech, F6 
Eridu, G 6 
Eulaeus, R., H 6 

Hanigalbat, BC 2, 3 
Harran, C 3 

Ism, F 5 

Kadesli (on the Orontes) , B 

Kalakh, E 4 

Kashiari, Mt., CD 3 

Kashkai, BC 2 

Kashshi, G4, 5 

Khabur, R C 3, D 3, 4 

Khalpash, B 3 

Kirkhi, CD 2 

Kish, F5 

Kumani, B 2 

Kummukh, BC 3 

Kurti, D 3 

Kutha, F 5 
I<uti, EF 4 

Lagash, G 6 
Larsa, G 6 

Malatia, C 2 
Mannai, EF 2 
Mardrn, D 3 
Milidia, C 2 
Mitanni, C 3, 4 
Murattash, F 4 
Mushki, BC 2 
Musri, B 3 

Nairi, CDE 2, 3 
Nineveh, E 3 
Niphates Mts., CD 2 
Nippur, F 5 

Orontes, R., B 3, 4 

Palmyra (Tadmor), C 4 

Saradaush, F 4 
Sengara, D 3 

Shatt el-Gharraf, R F 5, G 5, 6 
Shnbari, DE 3 
Simyra, A 4 
Sippar, F 5 
Sugi (?),. C 2 
Sutu, E 5 

Tabal (?), B3 
Tadmor. See Palmyra, C 4 
Tidal Swamps, GH 6 
4 Tigris, R., D 3, E 3, 4 

U pi (?). f 5 

Ur, G 6 
Urartu, DE 2 

Van, E 2 
Van, Lake, E 2 

Yokha, F 6 

Zagros Mts., FG 4 




c. 1500-1000 B.c. 


f Milidufes. 

i (Ma!atia)«% 




/ N AmiS% U RJyl 

FjU B 

\ Mardin 

0 50 100 150 200 Kilometres 

4jneveyA r bet% 

A. Kalakh ° 

'BISHRft - 

o Harran 



73 Araziki 










and he renewed the palaces. Above all did he cherish his land, 
for he proudly records that he repaired all the water-machines 
throughout the land, and accumulated stores of grain. His con- 
quests had vastly increased the cattle, sheep, horses and asses, 
and he had even seen to the breeding of wild deer and ibex which 
he had captured; his gardens and parks were adorned with 
strange trees and fruits from foreign lands. It was doubtless 
in full appreciation of his passion for collecting strange animals 
that the king of Egypt sent him a crocodile (p. 194). Such a bizarre 
gift would surely soften the heart of a great conqueror who had 
the strength to press so far into the Syrian arena. In a word, he 
was an admirable Oriental despot of the best kind. 

He crossed swords with the Babylonian king, Marduk-nadin- 
akhe (c. 1 1 16— 1 101), towards the end of his reign. If we may 
infer anything from a statement of Sennacherib, it was about the 
year 1107 b.c. that Marduk-nadin-akhe, the king of Babylon, 
made a raid on Assyria, and carried off the statues of the two 
deities, Adad and Shala. The Synchronous History then relates 
that ‘ a second time ’ the armies met, this time near Arzukhina on 
the Lower Zab, and ‘in the second year’ they fought at Marrite 
in Upper Akkad. The Assyrian king was victorious and then 
pressed into Babylonia, capturing Dur-Kurigalzu, the two Sip- 
pars, Babylon and Opis; and then plundered the land from 
Akarsallu to Lubdi, Sukhi and to Rapiki. 

With the close of the twelfth century b.c. and the end of Tiglath- 
pileser’s reign this chapter may conveniently break off. Meso- 
potamian history becomes obscure, and what little has to be said 
will be the natural prelude to the period dealt with in the next 




A RACE, social group, polity or civilization designated 
il ‘Hittite’ has frequently come up for notice already in the 
previous chapters. This term is used by modern historians and 
archaeologists in more than one sense; and the distinction which 
should be observed between its senses is not always obvious to 
readers, or, indeed, apprehended clearly by writers. It is im- 
perative to mark a difference between its ethnical and cultural 
uses. As an ethnical term it should not be applied at present to 
any race or racial group referred to under another name than 
Khatti {Hatti or Hati, or Egyptian Kheta (Ht)), or Hebrew 
Heth and equivalent transliterations); or again to any people not 
specified as Hattie in such contemporary, or nearly contemporary, 
written records as we possess (Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, 
Hebrew, Yannic or actual ‘Hattie,’ i.e. Cappadocian). Observance 
of this distinction will exclude from the ethnical use of the term 
a number of racial groups about which it can be argued, from 
the presence of monuments of Hittite character in their several 
localities, that they shared Hittite civilization — notably, in the 
first place, most of the peoples of southern Cappadocia, Phrygia, 
Lydia and Cilicia, in fact all the peoples of inner Asia Minor with 
exception of the northern Cappadocians, and, perhaps, of a group 
in the south of Cappadocia; in the second place, all peoples of 
northern Syria, except, perhaps, a group which occupied a strip 
of territory immediately south of the Taurus Mountains, another 
on the Euphrates’ bank, and also an element of population in 
mid-Syria and Palestine; in the third place, all Mesopotamian 
peoples. In this chapter it is proposed to avoid the use of ‘Hittite’ 
in an ethnical sense, and to substitute ‘Hatti’ and ‘Hattie’ when- 
ever race is in question. 

The term Hittite will then be left to carr j cultural significance 
only. As the proper designation of a certain type of civiliza- 
tion, distinguished by common use of a peculiar script and by 
practice of a particular art which depicts various human types 
(we cannot predicate, on present knowledge, community of 


either language or religion), it has a larger content than the term 
‘Hattie.’ The geographical area of Hittite civilization embraces 
the eastern half of Asia Minor with southern Phiygia and, possibly, 
Cilicia; also all north and north-central Syria, together with ex- 
tensions across both the middle and the upper Euphrates, on the 
one hand, and into lands west of the central plain of Asia Minor 
on the other. Hittite civilization, therefore, occupied at a certain 
epoch all the inter-continental bridge between Asia and Europe, 
sitting astride the land-routes of communication between the 
elder civilizations of the heat-belt, and the younger of the tem- 
perate zone. 

The sources of our information about things Hittite are various; 
and only within the last twenty years has it been possible to 
combine them into a thin stream of history, thanks to a dis- 
covery of cuneiform archives at Boghaz Keui in north-western 
Cappadocia. This is the site of the Hattie capital of, at any rate, 
the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries b.c., when Hattie kings 
had imperial control of all Cappadocia, great part of Syria, and 
possibly also some part of central Asia Minor. The archives in 
question are clay tablets, written in part for those kings, but 
comprising also many documents or copies of documents written 
for their predecessors upon a throne which, whether at Boghaz Keui 
or on some other site, seems to have been Hattie for several previous 
generations. The view is held that these latter documents were 
collected, supplemented and ordered about 1 300 b.c. to form an 
official library, on whose remains the modern excavators have 
lighted. Some of the tablets are in the Babylonian language, which 
was used as a diplomatic medium of communication over all the 
Near East. These can, of course, be read with some certainty. 
More, however, are couched in some six native allied dialects, 
according to the latest decipherers (e.g. Hrozny and Forrer), who 
agree in regarding the dialects as Indo-European, and put forward 
interpretations based on analogies with primitive Indo-European 
linguistic forms, especially those of Old Latin. To the six dialects 
they give the names Kanesian, Luvian, Balaic, proto-Hattie, 
Harrian and Mandaic, the last two being presumably foreign 
tongues spoken in north Mesopotamia rather than Cappadocia. 
The bulk of the tablets are in ‘Kanesian,’ by which is meant the 
common speech of mid-Cappadocia, where, on the site now known 
as Kara-Euyuk, stood a city, Kanes (or Ganesh, see p. 6), often 
mentioned upon clay tablets of a special Assyro-Cappadocian class, 
probably non-Hattic, which will be dealt with presently. In these 
dialectical documents determinatives (as in Babylonian) indicate 


proper names of persons and places respectively, and other help 
towards their interpretation is given by lexicographical tablets, 
which contain lists of native words in the so-called ‘Kanesian,’ 
with equivalents in Assyro-Babylonian and Sumerian; these were 
made, no doubt, for the use of Cappadocian officials who had to 
conduct correspondence with Mesopotamia and Egypt. If such 
aids stood alone, too little could be made of the documents for 
any useful historical purpose to be served; but possible affinities 
of their dialects with a known Indo-European group encourage 
much wider hopes, and justify already some provisional reliance 
on the fragmentary translations put out by the decipherers to 
whom the Berlin authorities have committed the publication of 
their collection. 

The second source of Hittite information consists in remains 
of architecture, art and script surviving above ground or ex- 
cavated. The script, a pictographic system, elaborately carved 
in high relief or incised with simplified linear forms, was used 
to express what, no doubt, is the ‘Kanesian’ language in which 
the bulk of the Cappadocian cuneiform archives are written, and 
other languages besides. But the syllabic or alphabetic values of 
its very numerous characters, with a few not universally agreed 
exceptions, are still unfixed; and, therefore, in its case there are 
two unknowns — character-values as well as language. Inferences, 
however, of historical import may often be drawn from the 
artistic character, the distribution, etc., of illegible inscriptions; 
and similar but fuller inferences can be based upon other monu- 
ments which are architectural or plastic. So far as Asia Minor is 
concerned, the monuments in question are distributed fairly 
generally over north-western, central and southern Cappadocia, 
with Lycaonia. In northern Phrygia also, including Galatia, there 
are a few isolated monuments, strung out at wide intervals near 
or on the line of a natural track which leads down the Sangarius 
valley from Ancyra to Sardes and thence to the sea at the head of 
the Gulf of Smyrna. In the coastal provinces of the Peninsula, 
both north and south as well as west (with the single exception 
of that Sardes road), no examples have yet been found. The 
districts of Asia Minor in which Hittite monuments occur with 
such frequency as to argue the local prevalence at some period of 
either Hattie power, or at least Hattie cultural influence, are first, the 
vicinity ofYuzgadin the north-western corner of Cappadocia, where 
stand the ruins of Boghaz Keui and Euyuk Alaja; secondly, the 
central Cappadocian district round Mount Argaeus, whose capital 
in later times was Mazaca-Caesarea; and thirdly, all the districts 


which lie under the north face of the Taurus, from the neighbour- 
hood of Iconium, in the west, to the Euphrates, near Melitene, 
in the east. These latter districts contain four considerable groups 
of such monuments, the Phrygian or Iconian, the Lycaonian or 
Tyanitic, the Anti-Tauric and the Melitenian. Between the first 
group and the sparse fringe of north Phrygian Hittite monuments 
mentioned above lies a wide gap; but between the southern 
groups linking monuments occur, mostly marking natural tracks 
of inter-communication. Thus, for example, the Kuru pass across 
the Anti-Taurus, and the valley of the Tokhma Su, which 
respectively connect the Mazaca group with the Anti-Tauric 
and the Melitenian groups, contain Hittite remains. Whether 
any (and if so, which) of these divers groups of Anatolian 
monuments belong to the Hattie Imperial Age will be dis- 
cussed later. 

In Syria, Hittite remains occur generally over the whole 
northern part, from the foothills of the Taurus at Marash to the 
middle Orontes valley at Restan ; and from the Amanus range at 
Zenjirli to the Euphrates at Samosata and Carchemish. They have 
not yet been found in the classical Cilicia west of the Amanus 
range, nor on this range itself; nor again in the lower Orontes 
valley (Antioch district); nor at any point in the mountains west 
of this river. Nothing distinctively Hittite has been reported yet 
on the upper Orontes above Restan. On the left bank of the 
Euphrates, however, enough monuments have been found at 
several points to prove that Hittite civilization prevailed at a 
certain period in a long stretch of north-western Mesopotamia 
extending opposite Carchemish from Birejik (classical Zeugma) 
to Tell Ahmar (Assyrian Til-Barsip) and still farther south. For 
inner Mesopotamia (the Mitannian region) we have as yet but 
uncertain evidence. Sculptures, excavated at Tell Halaf near 
Ras el-Ain, show clear affinity to early Hittite art; but they are 
of very rude style and (so far as known at present) are unaccom- 
panied by Hittite inscriptions of any type. 

A third source of Hittite history is furnished by written and 
plastic records of foreign states and peoples, which were con- 
tiguous to, and in relation with, the Hittite area. Those of the 
Egyptian kingdom from the XVIIIth Dynasty to the XXIst 
Dynasty, covering a period of about two hundred and fifty years, 
refer frequently to wars and negotiations with Hatti; and a mass 
of cuneiform correspondence pertaining to the Egyptian Foreign 
Office during the later reigns of the XVIIIth Dynasty, which has 
been found at Tell el-Amarna, the capital of Amenhotep IV, 


throws light not only on the Hatti, but on other peoples in their 
sphere of influence or upon their borders. See p. 128. 

We have recovered also from the Semitic Mesopotamian states 
cuneiform records which refer to Hatti and their neighbours. 
Babylonian historical compilations, written, in post-Hittite times, 
to relate traditional events of remote ages, supply almost the only 
evidence available at present for Hittite history before the Hattie 
Imperial Age (see vol. x, p. 56 1). The Assyrian records in question 
are in the main contemporary with the events they record, and, 
therefore, subject to discount on grounds only of ex -parte tenour, 
or obscurity. Those which refer to parts of the Hittite area or to 
actual Hattie peoples range, with interruptions, from the latter 
part of the second millennium to the seventh century b.c. Further 
there are Hebrew references in O.T. to Hittites (Heth). Their 
date, bearing and significance are so uncertain that they are best 
reserved for later consideration in connection with Syrian Hittite 
history, both early and late (vol. 111). Lastly may be cited a few 
statements and memories of Greeks, which have possible bearing 
on Hittites, together with some mentions of Hatti and Hittite 
lands in the ‘Vannic’ cuneiform records of the kingdom of 
Urartu, which lay east of the northern Hittite area. 


In northern Cappadocia a Hattie monarchical state has left 
written monuments of itself, from an uncertain early period, to 
the end of the thirteenth century b.c. During this latter century 
and the one preceding it, records of another power, the Egyptian, 
with which the Hattie monarchy clashed in a phase of imperial 
expansion, add intermittent witness. For the existence and 
history of that monarchy before the fifteenth century possible 
evidence is given by the documents from its capital, Hattushash 
(Boghaz Keui), which are couched in native languages. There 
is reason to find in these documents the names of several 
monarchs, and to discern interregnal periods 1 . Even if these 
kings did not represent successive generations, they may reason- 
ably be presumed to have filled much more than a century pre- 
ceding 1430 b.c., which is the approximate date of the accession 
of Hattushil, father of Shubbiluliuma. It must have been from 
one of these fifteenth century monarchs that the Hattie envoys 

1 The names of some of the monarchs, of whom practically nothing can 
usefully be predicated yet except their existence, are given in the Synchro- 
nistic List at the end of this volume. 


came, who, about 1469 b.c., met the Pharaoh, Thutmose III, in 
or near the Syrian Taurus. See p. 7 6 sq. 

What the origin of the Hattie society and state may have been 
is a question at present unsolved. No really primitive archaeo- 
logical material has come jx> light in any part of eastern Asia 
Minor — nothing, for example, representing so early a stage of 
culture as is illustrated by the lowest strata of remains at Hissarlik, 
or even by some early Bronze Age objects from Mysian and 
Pisidian tombs (see p. 554 sq.). As for written records, Baby- 
lonian references to Hattie invasions of Mesopotamia, during the 
third millennium and at the beginning of the second, will not be 
good evidence for Cappadocian Hatti until further light has been 
thrown on the source of those invasions. They may have started 
from another Hattie region, e.g. Syria or north Mesopotamia 
(see vol. 1, p. 56 1). But besides the evidence of the earlier Boghaz 
Keui archives there are certain Assyrian references to be reckoned 
with; and also a particular class of documents, which, if not 
written by Assyrian scribes, betray strong Assyrian influence in 
Cappadocia and reveal an intimate connection between this 
country and Mesopotamia in the first part of the second millen- 
nium and even at earlier dates. The documents in question are 
cuneiform tablets, couched in a provincial dialect of Assyro- 
Babylonian, and judged, on various grounds, to be older, and 
generally much older, than the fifteenth century b.c. They have 
already been referred to in vol. 1 (see pp. 453 sqq.). To supple- 
ment what has there been given, it should be said that a few have 
been procured in Cappadocia itself, e.g. at Kara-Euyuk, about 
11 miles E.N.E. of Kaisariyeh (Mazaca), and at Boghaz Keui 
(these last not in the process of scientific excavation). But the 
greater part of a total now amounting to thousands has been 
obtained from traders in Kaisariyeh or Constantinople, who 
have given their testimony — for what it is worth — that the 
tablets hail from Cappadocian sites. Most of these are said to 
come from Kara-Euyuk (p. 253, ancient Kanes?). Two or three 
isolated specimens have been found outside Cappadocia, e.g. one 
near Mosul. One tablet, bought in Constantinople, bears the 
imprint of a royal signet, that of Ibi-Sin, king of Ur; and prac- 
tically all recent students find that both the script and the proper 
names in this document accord with those of the Illrd Dynasty 
of Ur (i.e. about twenty-fifth century b.c.). 

If so early a date be accepted for any members of this class of 
documents, it will stand to reason that, at the least, a Cappa- 
docian society of that age maintained commercial relations with 

w ■ 

C.A.H. II 


southern Mesopotamia, could read and write cuneiform, and 
understood Assyro-Babylonian; or, at the most, that the Illrd 
Dynasty of Ur had a colonial empire embracing Cappadocia. The 
dialectical peculiarity of the language used tells (according to 
some Assyriologists) against the possibility of these documents 
having been written by true Mesopotamians, whether colonists 
or soldiers; but, at the same time, the frequent occurrence of the 
element Ashur in their proper names, and also their general 
type, witness to a degree of intimacy between Cappadocia and 
Assyria which argues political supremacy exercised by the latter. 
At all events, Cappadocian society had begun, in the first part of 
the second millennium at the latest, to practise regular trade 
with Assyria, and was so powerfully influenced by the latter’s 
civilization that already it was advanced in culture according to 
the standards of its time. We can postulate with confidence, 
therefore, a period, probably lengthy, of Semitic influence before 
the Hattie in Cappadocia, and find in that fact adequate reason, 
not only for the conspicuous lack of Hittite pictographic inscrip- 
tions of early type in that area (nothing has yet been found in 
relieved script in northern Cappadocia except short labels and 
one long text on the Nishan Tash at Boghaz Keui), but also for 
the Cappadocian official use of cuneiform script in Hattie imperial 
times, and for the Assyrian character of the art which produced 
the earliest Cappadocian Hittite monuments known to us. 

Early documents, found by German excavators at Kala‘at 
Sherkat (Ashur), convey more than a hint of Assyrian domina- 
tion exercised intermittently, if not continuously, over parts of 
eastern Asia Minor, which would account for this Semitization 
of Cappadocian society. Assyrian expansion north-westward 
seems to date back into the third millennium; and, unquestion- 
ably before the middle of the second, armies despatched from the 
middle Tigris were raiding the southernmost confines of Cappa- 
docia and had attained, at any rate, the city of Arinna, even as an 
Egyptian army also would do in the fifteenth century (if the 
‘ Araina’ of Thutmose III is the same place). But the view that 
they went on to penetrate central and northern Cappadocia 
depends at present on the interpretation of a claim made by 
Shamshi-Adad III (his date, at latest, is in the seventeenth 
century) that he reached the shore of the ‘Great Sea’ and, in a 
country called Laban, set up a monument of himself. Some com- 
mentators confidently find this locality on the coast of the Black 
Sea, where Sinope long preserved a tradition of an ‘Assyrian’ 
or ‘Syrian’ occupation (perhaps this only means Hattie). Others, 


with perhaps better reason, think that the Assyrian king speaks 
of the coast of Syria (see vol. 1, p. 568). No further record of 
Assyrian adventure in Cappadocia is known till the Hattie Imperial 
Age itself, when in the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries suc- 
cessive thrusts by Ashur-uballit II, and also by the first great 
king of the Shalmaneser name, carried Assyrian arms into the 
Taurus (compare also pp. 241, 260 and 320). 

Whether all or any of those Semitized Cappadocians of the third 
millennium and the early part of the second were of Hattie race, 
cannot be determined yet. Even if the published interpretation of 
the native documents from Boghaz Keui already cited be accepted, 
we cannot carry the Hattie dynasty back earlier than 1580.' There 
is some reason to think that during most even of the fifteenth 
century, the Cappadocian Hatti were not completely indepen- 
dent of Assyria, and we have other reasons, but of less cogency, 
for believing that Boghaz Keui was not their original seat, but 
that Hattie kings had reigned elsewhere, either at Arinna or at 
Karsaiira (Garsalira, afterwards Archelais and now Akserai), on 
the eastern edge of the Axylon plains. 

Equally insoluble is the question whence the Hatti originally 
had come. Were they an ‘ Asianic’ people, who conquered with 
bronze imported from the Caucasus? Were they Alarodians from 
beyond the Caspian? Were they an Indo-European folk from 
Iran or beyond ? Semitic influence is evident in the Cappadocian 
dialect; but, so far as we know at present, it is illustrated rather 
by borrowed words than by such structural modification of the 
language as would argue an admixture of true Semitic race. The 
Indo-European element is now considered to have been the 
dominant caste, as it also was in the land of Mitanni, with which 
the Cappadocian Hattie dynasty had many relations. But the 
prevailing language of Mitanni, an example of which we possess 
in a long cuneiform letter, found at Tell el-Amarna, is not Indo- 
European, but, according to most philologists, akin to Georgian 
(see vol. 1, p. 469). Until more is known with certainty about the 
prevailing language of Cappadocia in the earlier part of the 
second millennium, no progress can be made towards a settlement 
of this question of Hattie origins; and since even that language 
may not have been the native tongue of the Hatti (if these were 
indeed only a conquering minority), we may then not be much 
wiser on this particular point. But we shall know at any rate who 
the bulk of the Cappadocians were. Present evidence points to 
north-west Mesopotamia and the Taurus as earlier homes of the 
Hattie element. 



The first sure historical light is shed by retrospective Hattie 
documents of the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries b.c. They 
indicate that, more than a century before the earliest of them was 
written, a Hattie monarchy, ruling apparently from a north 
Cappadocian centre, already exercised dominant influence in 
south Cappadocia, in northern Syria, and even on the eastern 
bank of the middle Euphrates. A king, Dudkhalia, who was 
penultimate predecessor of Shubbiluliuma and reigned round 
about 1450 b.c., had relations with the Cataonian principality of 
Hanigalbat and with Aleppo. His successor, Hattushil, warred vic- 
toriously with the last-named power, which is supposed to have been 
of Harrian origin. These kings had the Harri, a Mesopotamian 
and north Syrian people (see vol. 1, p. 3 x 2), for neighbours, and 
Kissuwadna, a principality lying west of Hanigalbat (see p. 272), 
in their pocket. Whether their dominance had been established 
by conquest from the north or had survived from an earlier stage 
of Hattie residence in the south, we do not know : but, in either 
case, it amounted to a wide enough territorial power to justify us 
in speaking of a proto-Hattie imperial period, preceding the 
historical one, usually so called. 

The second, or historic, imperial period was inaugurated by 
Hattushil’s son, Shubbiluliuma, who succeeded somewhere about 
1400 b.c. 1 . There had been a crash in the last part of his father’s 
reign and all the south, including even Kissuwadna, had shaken 
itself free under a revival of Harrian leadership. As records of 
Ashur-uballit II inform us, Assyrian forces began to raid un- 
checked about 1415 b.c. across the Euphrates and into the Tauric 
principalities. Shubbiluliuma restored the earlier dominance of 
the Hatti in south Cappadocia, grappling Kissuwadna firmly to 
his allegiance on terms less easy than it had enjoyed before the 
revolt, and he prevailed against the prince of another Tauric 
state, Arzawa, who had been in independent correspondence with 
Egypt. It is also claimed for him that he forced the Harri to 
obedience; and this people appears later as confined to the Meso- 
potamian side of the Euphrates. 

1 The dates adopted by German editors of the Boghaz Keui archives are 
all later than those given here. Ascribing the treaty made by Hattushil with 
Ramses II to the latter’s twenty-first regnal year, to 1271 b.c., they place 
Shubbiluliuma’ s accession in 1380, MurshiPs 1345, Mutallu’s 1315, 
Hattushil’s 1272. The battle of Kadesh they date to 1287. Another com- 
putation (followed by R. Campbell Thompson, see p. 238) dates Shub- 
biluliuma at 1411 and Murshil at 1355. 


How long a period this process of imperial restoration took 
we have no means of determining; but it may reasonably be 
presumed that not till it was complete would the Hattie king 
have ventured through the Tauric passes into Syria, to try 
conclusions with greater powers claiming spheres of exclusive 
influence there — Mitanni and Egypt. He had a strong body 
of federal troops with him, when the time for Syrian conquest 
arrived. To reform the Hattie confederacy as a power of offence 
must have taken some time; Shubbiluliuma’s appearance in 
Syria (with this event anything like continuous Hattie history 
begins) can hardly, therefore, have been before the end of the 
first decade of the fourteenth century, and may have been as late 
as 1380 b.c. Records of his successors speak of Shubbiluliuma as 
the Great King far excellence , the Founder of his House. This 
fame may be owed to his later success in establishing foreign 
empire after restoring the old Cappadocian primacy of the 
dynasty: but it is possible also that he was the first of all Hattie 
kings to free himself from subordination to Assyria. 

Shubbiluliuma spent some time in north Syria raiding and 
subjugating local chieftains in defiance of the susceptibilities not 
only of remote Egypt, but also of the nearer Mitannian kingdom. 
Whether originally or not he had set out to try conclusions 
with this latter Mesopotamian power, which had possessions 
west of the Euphrates, he found now that he had no choice 
but to force an issue upon it. Therefore, presently, with 
Harri co-operating, he crossed the river into Ishuwa and thence 
marched against Alshe and then against Tushratta, king of 
Mitanni, brother-in-law of Amenhotep III. It would be interesting 
to know how, at that time, the state of Carchemish regarded both 
the action of the Hattie invader in Syria and his attack on 
Mitanni. Its prince does not figure by name in our records of this 
conquest; but, if he was himself of old standing Hattie race, it is 
more than probable that he joined forces with Shubbiluliuma. 
If, on the other hand, a certain cultural change, which excavation 
at Carchemish has shown to have taken place in the second half 
of the second millennium b.c. (see vol. hi), is to be dated as far 
back as the fourteenth century, then it will appear more probable 
that an unrecorded capture and reconstitution of Carchemish 
either now, or in the year following, has to be credited to Shub- 
biluliuma (the name of the town appears in a mutilated record of 
this king’s movements after his conquest of Mitanni), and that 
it was only from this epoch forward that Carchemish became 
Hittite. More will be said later on this point in connection with 


both the Hattie treaty concluded with Ramses II and the earliest 
history of north Syria. 

Tushratta of Mitanni seems to have been successful in his 
first engagements with the Hattie forces; but in the end he was 
obliged to retire north-eastwards and suffer his kingdom to be 
ravaged so thoroughly that, though ultimately it obtained peace 
without submitting to worse terms than the acceptance of a client 
position, the support of Egypt was lost. The independence of the 
dynasty also was permanently impaired, and, shortly afterwards, 
Tushratta died a violent death, leaving his successor, Mattiuaza, 
to accept Shubbiluliuma’s terms, and see his territory infringed 
on the west by the Hatti, and on the east by the Assyrians, who, 
ultimately, were to overrun the whole. See pp. 122, 301 sq . 

Shubbiluliuma returned, after an interval of unknown duration, 
to Syria and marched into Aleppo. Partly now, partly before his 
Mitannian campaigns, he seems to have imposed his suzerainty 
on all the other petty princedoms, tribal states, and urban and 
village communities among which, so far south as Homs, Syria 
had been parcelled out under the nominal overlordship of a 
distant Pharaoh. We can establish no chronology of its conquest 
by the Hatti (except that Kinza was not attacked till after the 
king’s entry into Aleppo), either from Hattie archives or from 
the Amarna Letters, for lack of criteria for classifying those 
documents, except in large groups according to the reigns in 
which they were written or received. Nor can we, with certainty, 
place on the map more than two or three of the several districts 
that they mention in this connection. We may say only that 
Shubbiluliuma did enter and force to his allegiance the following 
lands. (1) Nukhashshi , whose prince, Sharrupshi, held out long for 
his suzerain in Egypt. Conjecturally, his domain has been placed 
in the Killis district, north and west of Aleppo; it may have 
included all north-west Syria, with the town of Samal (Zenjirli), 
of which no express mention is made in any document of this 
period. A mutilated copy of Shubbiluliuma’s eventual treaty with 
Sharrupshi exists. (2) Abina , which we cannot place more closely 
than somewhere in the north-eastern region of Syria; it had owed 
allegiance formerly to Mitanni. (3) Khalpa , Khalman or Halab , 
which is Aleppo with, no doubt, the whole Kowaik basin. 
(4) Niy or Nia , whose prince, Takuwa, and his brother, Akit- 
Teshub, bear names of Amorite sound. Half-a-century or more 
before this period, under Thutmose III, Niy was spoken of as at 
the extreme limit of the Egyptian range, which extended to the 
Euphrates near Carchemish and to the Taurus. Its remoteness, 


coupled with its former subjection to Mitanni and its probable 
Amorite character, suggests that it lay on the eastern edge of 
Syria proper, some way down the right bank of the Euphrates, 
below Carchemish. (5) Kaina, which we know to have been on 
the farther side of the Euphrates, in the valley of the Lower 
Khabur. A Semitic state (probably), it proved hard for the Hattie 
king to persuade or force to submission; and its prince, Aki-izzi, 
was still at large, unrepentant and appealing to Pharaoh for 
support, in the early part of the reign of Amenhotep IV (about 
1373 b.c., see p. 310). (6) Kinza, a state of apparently superior 
importance, whose prince, Shutatarra, offered stout resistance at 
first. But he seems, with his son, Aitakkama, not to have been 
long in accepting the new suzerainty, and the son became the 
leading ally and agent of Shubbiluliuma in the south. The precise 
location of Kinza is a puzzle; but since its prince’s name recalls 
the Sutu, prominent in later accounts of Assyrian raids down the 
Khabur, and since it was able to attack directly Tushratta’s 
successor in mid-Mesopotamia, it seems probable that, like Katna, 
it was a Semitic trans-Euphratean state, lying in the Belikh basin 
over against Niy. (7) Tunip , mentioned also in Egyptian and 
Assyrian annals as in or near Naharain, was almost certainly in 
the lower valley of the Sajur, where its name is still attached to a 
tell. (8) Lapana was perhaps the same district as Labnana, men- 
tioned in annals of Tiglath-pileser III. Apparently it lay beyond 
(west of) the Orontes, and should be some part of the Lebanon 
range, whose name seems to be a survival of it; perhaps it was the 
northernmost part, Jebel Ansariyeh. (9) Zinzar and Rukhizzi, 
which cannot be placed; the former name probably belongs to the 
north-east, or even to Mesopotamia. 

The only other important facts about this conquest of north 
Syria and north-western Mesopotamia of which we can be reason- 
ably sure, are that Akizzi (Aki-izzi), prince of Katna, formed a 
league of local chiefs and procured a fresh revolt of the Harri in 
order to stay Shubbiluliuma’s progress, but in vain; and that he 
was defeated either by the Hattie king himself, who appears to 
have gone in person across the Euphrates again, or by Aitakkama, 
of Kinza, who, after some shilly-shallying, illustrated by the 
Amarna correspondence, threw in his lot with the Hatti. With 
the collapse of this league, Shubbiluliuma’s way lay open into the 
block of Amorite territory which then occupied all central Syria, 
including Kadesh, but not the Lebanon littoral; but invasion 
seems to have been forestalled by the submission of Azira (Aziru), 
paramount sheikh of the Damascus district, who tardily agreed 


to an onerous tribute (see also pp. 302, 309). Even Pharaoh pre- 
ferred negotiation to fighting. A treaty of peace was concluded 
and signed by Shubbiluliuma and Amenhotep III, shortly before 
the latter’s death (or by his successor?). It held good through 
subsequent Egyptian reigns till it was denounced or ignored by 
Seti I, who, after Shubbiluliuma’s death, made more than one 
effort to recover the empire which Ikhnaton had lost. 

At some date, not earlier than 1360 b.c., Shubbiluliuma died, 
and after an interval of some years, filled by struggles between 
the heir, Arnuwandash (Arandas) and his brother Murshil (called 
in Egyptian M-r-s-r), the latter secured the throne. A cuneiform 
document which chronicles his first ten royal years has been 
found at Boghaz Keui, Since it is not in Babylonian, hardly any- 
thing can be read from it with certainty except proper names; 
but its frequent mention of what seem to be north Syrian places 
and princes serves to assure us that the affairs of at least as large 
an area, as had concerned Shubbiluliuma, continued to engage 
the attention of his successor. Carchemish, several of whose 
princes (?) are named in Murshil’s annals, evidently adhered to 
the allegiance, which voluntarily or under duress it had given to 
Shubbiluliuma; and from a treaty with Rimisharma, king of 
Aleppo, we know that this city also remained faithful. Kissuwadna 
had been sufficiently chastened by Murshil’s father to be admitted 
to free clientship again as an autonomous principality on condition 
of its having the same friends and enemies as the Hatti, and 
sending help to the latter’s wars whether with the Harri or with 
Arzawa, which seem to have been its neighbours on east and west. 
The treaty between Shunashshura, its king, and (presumably) 
Murshil has come down to us in a copy made by the latter’s 
successor. It provides for the abolition of frontier fortifications. 
The Amorites of mid-Syria were the chief breakers of the peace. 
Murshil maintained his father’s policy towards Mitanni, whose 
value as a buffer between the Hattie dependencies and the growing 
Assyrian power on the middle Tigris prescribed cultivation of 
good relations. Hardly less valuable in view of the Assyrian 
menace (see pp. 238 sqq) was the friendship of the Kassite 
kings of lower Mesopotamia, which, as we gather from later 
Hattie records, had previously been sought and obtained by the 
Hattie monarchy. 

At what precise date Murshil died we do not know; probably 
not before 1330. His son, Mutallu (Muwatallis) succeeded, and 
soon was at open odds with Seti I of Egypt, whose thrusts north- 
ward were followed by a southward Hattie counter-thrust up the 


Orontes valley. Seti was succeeded about the close of the century 
(or, according to another reckoning, in 1292) by Ramses II. Prob- 
ably that vigorous southward offensive, which carried the Hatti 
past Kadesh, was not achieved till Seti’s death; for it is when 
a throne is vacant in the east that aggression upon distant frontiers 
usually happens. In any case, by Kadesh, at or near the modern 
Tell Nebi Mandib, above the southern end of the Lake of Homs, 
in Ramses’ fifth regnal year, the armies of the rival suzerains 
of Syria met in a pitched battle, of which the Egyptian account 
has long been famous. This narrative is the composition of a 
court poet and hardly historical material; but a fragmentary Hattie 
account of the same events, found at Boghaz Keui, seems to con- 
firm some particulars of it (see pp. 142 sqq). The result of the 
engagement alone matters here. The Hattie king and his federals 
were not dislodged from Kadesh; the Egyptians withdrew again 
to Palestine. The two powers were still in touch on the same 
frontier, in northernmost Galilee, when Mutallu, who died by 
violence, was no longer reigning, and Ramses had sent up two 
(or three?) more armies to try to restore the Egyptian position. 
Finally, in his twenty-first regnal year, Pharaoh accepted a treaty 
of permanent peace, on terms uti -possidetis , with Hattushil the 
Second (or perhaps Third), the brother and successor of his 
opponent at Kadesh. 

The earlier part of Hattushil’s long reign, which did not 
close till far on in the thirteenth century, saw the acme of this 
Hattie imperial phase; in his later years decline began. More of 
his archives than of any other Hattie king have been unearthed, 
and enough of the documents are couched in Babylonian for us 
to be surely informed about the general course of events and the 
direction of Hattie imperial energies. Syria, down to the north 
Palestinian border, was now an exclusively Hattie sphere of 
influence and a source of Hattie revenue. Since, moreover, the 
Kassite king of Babylon, as a letter proves, regarded Hattushil as 
responsible for the desert tribesmen, we may infer that the Hattie 
king was recognized overlord also of the Amorite settled elements 
in Syria, for instance those which then held the oasis of Damascus 
(cf. p. 240). Hattushil was on terms of intimacy with the court 
of Babylon and assumed the tone of an equal in writing to 
Pharaoh — a tone sufficiently justified by the treaty of alliance, 
already mentioned, which Egypt made with him about the tenth 
year of his reign. 

This famous treaty is so worded as to appear an equal compact, 
obligations of defence and offence, and extradition of political 


and ‘unknown’ (servile?) fugitives being reciprocal; but never- 
theless there are two points about it which possibly imply some 
recognition of inferiority by the Hattie party. The first is that 
Hattushil (both versions of this clause, Hattie and Egyptian, are 
mutilated) asks of Pharaoh a favour in regard to his own suc- 
cessor; the second, that the first overtures for alliance were made 
almost certainly from the Hattie side, an express statement of 
Ramses to that effect being supported by the Hattie version. 
The first draft of the treaty was composed at Hattushash and 
submitted to Pharaoh, inscribed in cuneiform on a silver plate. 
There has been found on two clay tablets at Boghaz Keui what 
is probably part of that draft, written before the metal was en- 
graved. The Egyptian text, of which we have two imperfect 
copies, is a hieroglyphic rendering of a Babylonian text, the same 
in substance as the original Hattie draft; but its phraseology has 
been revised to suit Pharaonic susceptibilities. The list of towns, 
however, whose gods are called by Hattushil to witness (we have 
only the Egyptian text of this clause and it is defective), implies 
that Ramses recognized Hattie dominion over four-fifths at least 
of Syria. The ‘land Hatti’ and the ‘land Misri,’ which, in the 
fourth clause, are each guaranteed by the sovereign of the other 
immune for ever from invasion, are not defined; but the citation 
of the goddess of ‘D-r’ (i.e. Tyre) by Hattushil implies that 
Ramses had been reduced to accept Palestine as sole remainder 
of the Egyptian empire in Asia. The only other Syrian city in the 
list, whose identification is possible at present, is Halab (Aleppo); 
see further, p. 149 sq. 

It has been observed with surprise that Carchemish does not 
appear in that list. Three, if not four proper names, however, are 
missing from our text after the citation of Halab, while certain 
others are imperfect; and it may be that the phrase ‘ Astarte of the 
land of Hatti,’ which occurs in what should be the Syrian section 
of the list, implies and involves the capital of a region which later 
Assyrian scribes would always call Hatti-land. Were, however, 
the omission of Carchemish certain, we should have to presume 
one of two explanations. Either Carchemish had by then been 
absorbed into Hattushil’s home territory, and become a state 
directly governed and no longer federal; or it had fallen tem- 
porarily under some non-Hattic power, probably Assyria. The 
last alternative is far from impossible. Shalmaneser I was on the 
Middle Euphrates at or about the date of this treaty (according 
to the generally accepted chronology of his annals) and was 
raiding across the river into Melitene (Hanigalbat) and Kumani, 


north of Taurus. In any case, Assyrian westward expansion forces 
itself on our attention about this time (see p. 241 sq.). There 
can be little doubt that it provoked HattushiPs overture to 
Egypt; for a letter written by him to Kadashman-Enlil, Kassite 
king of Babylon (a copy of it in Babylonian was found at Boghaz 
Keui), betrays apprehension of Assyrian aggression about two 
years before. As the menace from the east increased Hattushil 
sought to draw his bond with Egypt tighter, and, some thirteen 
years after the conclusion of the treaty, sent one of his daughters 
to the harem of Ramses. A cuneiform copy of a letter from 
Naptera, the latter’s queen, to Pudukhipa, queen of Hattushil, 
alludes to the treaty as a guarantee of peace between Egypt and 
Hatti. It is of peculiar interest that Pharaoh should have asked 
his Hattie friend to supply him with smelted iron. A copy of the 
reply, stating that at the moment none was to hand in the magazines 
in Kissuwadna, has been found at Boghaz Keui (p. 272). This 
correspondence offers us a very close date for the introduction of 
iron in bulk into Asia Minor, and thence into Egypt, where 
it had been hitherto a rarity used by jewellers. 

HattushiPs reign ended before the middle of the thirteenth 
century. Probably he predeceased the aged Ramses by some 
twenty years. A son, Dudkhalia (cf. Tid'al, vol.T, p. 236), 
succeeded. We know little about either his reign or that of his 
son and successor Arnuwandash (Arandas); but a fragment of 
his annals exists, conveying the interesting assurance that 
Carchemish had returned to the Hattie federation — if it ever 
had left it; and from another document we learn that Aleppo was 
still in the Hattie sphere of influence. Neither of HattushiPs 
successors is noticed in non-Hattic records, nor is the next and 
last king, a son of Arnuwandash, called Dudkhalia, like his 
grandfather. Since a reasonable computation of time for thq 
duration of three reigns after that of Hattushil II would bring 
the story to the end of the thirteenth century, and a well- 
known record of Ramses III states that ‘Hatti’ had ‘not stood 
before’ a horde which subsequently devastated Kedi (the Cilician 
plain), Carchemish, Arvad and Alashiya, it is probable that 
Dudkhalia was in actual fact the last king of the dynasty of 
Shubbiluliuma, and the last Hattie prince of north Cappadocia. 

If the appearance of this horde on the Egyptian frontier be 
dated about the year 1190 (though this will depend upon the 
chronology of Ramses II), its conquest of the north Cappadocian 
Hatti must be placed some two or three years earlier — possibly 
even more. (We have to observe that it must be concluded 


that north Cappadocian, and not Syrian, Hatti are in question 
here, because, in the list of conquered territories evidently enumera- 
ted from north to south, ‘Hatti’ is divided from Carchemish by 
the name Kedi.) The names of this horde’s tribal constituents, 
given by the Egyptian record, leave the question of its origin 
obscure. ‘Hatti’ themselves appear in the list (and also are to be 
identified by their facial type, in Egyptian reliefs representing 
the invasion) ; but they have not the prominence accorded to them 
in records of the previous Egyptian dynasty. Mentioned along 
with other peoples, e.g . men of Kedi, who also are stated not to 
have ‘stood before’ the horde, and with Amorites, they have 
sunk to a subordinate position in the service of recent conquerors. 
It is doubtful how many of the strange peoples, enumerated as 
sharing in the attacks on Egypt, were concerned in the first 
movement of this horde, and the problem of the origin of their 
names — Pulesati, Shakalsha, Zakkara, Denyen, Uashasha — still 
awaits an entirely convincing solution (see pp. 275 sqq.). Some 
part of the elements which attacked Egypt came in ships. These 
may really have been maritime peoples, or they may have taken 
to the sea only for the occasion, after securing transport at Arvad 
or elsewhere on the Syrian coast. If the Hattie capital had been 
its first objective, the original horde may be presumed to be of 
northern composition; but whether its elements came from 
western or from northern Asia Minor, or not rather (as is equally 
probable) from a Caucasian or Armenian region, must remain 
a matter of opinion. 

Thus, according to present knowledge, the history of the Hattie 
Imperial State closes with the thirteenth century; and it is from 
about 1200 B.c. that we have to look back over such evidence as 
can be gathered from its monuments and records and those of 
its neighbours about its composition, organization and culture. 
Hattie ‘empire’ was certainly of the type which prevailed in 
western Asia before the Sargonid development of the Assyrian 
empire and the rise of Persia. Only a few provinces were ruled by 
direct action from the centre. Beyond them lay a belt of federated 
client-states, which were left to manage their own internal affairs, 
provided they observed their suzerain’s external policy and 
followed him to war. Beyond these again were states within a 
‘sphere of influence,’ bound to tributary acknowledgment, as the 
price of immunity, and expected to give the suzerain passage and 
supplies on his lawful occasions. When the empire was at its 
height under Hattushil II the federated client category comprised, 
in all probability, those cities and districts whose patron-deities 


were called to attest his treaty with Ramses; and if we had its 
fifteenth clause complete, we should know all their names. But 
there would remain the difficulty, insuperable at present, of 
identifying more than a small proportion of them with known 
localities, and especially of determining what relation the named 
cities bore to districts. That is to say, we should still not know 
which, if any, city-names imply the clientship of known districts 
— for example, we should not be certain which (if any), not only 
of the Syrian states reduced by Shubbiluliuma (none except Halab 
is named expressly in the clause in question), but also of the chain 
of states lying immediately north of the Taurus (none of these is 
mentioned, though Arinna maybe presumed to cover Kissuwadna), 
were involved. 


Our estimate of the degree of civilization attained by the 
Hattie empire will depend to some extent upon our answer to 
the question, Which, if any, of the known monuments of Hittite 
art are to be ascribed to its period? The other evidence would 
certainly lead us to expect that most of these were made in the 
Imperial Age. This theocratic society of the Hatti knew and used 
the diplomatic script and language of its time, observed inter- 
national usages, and was expert in metallurgy, armed up to the 
highest contemporary standard, and sufficiently organized to keep 
land-registers and public inventories of temple furniture. It is 
believed also to have had codified law. Two lengthy clay docu- 
ments from the Boghaz Keui archives have been deciphered 1 
more or less completely and convincingly as parts of a criminal 
code recalling in many respects that of Hammurabi, notably by 
the rights given to women and slaves, the control of prices, the 
regulation of agriculture and inheritance, and the penalties pre- 
scribed for sexual offences. That such a society, in its period of 
imperial expansion, should not have practised monumental art at 
its chief centres of power and population is hardly credible. On 
the sites of several of these centres — at Boghaz Keui, Euyuk 
Alaja, Kizli Hissar (Tyana), Marash, Jerablus (Carchemish) and 
many more, as well as in their neighbourhoods — examples of 
monumental art do exist, carved either on the living rock, or on 
free stones. Their relations and affinities cannot be discussed 
here; but it may be said shortly that, if the monuments are judged 

1 Reference to this publication is given in the Bibliography. The trans- 
lation must be regarded at present as too conjectural for historical use to be 
made of details of the code. 


by comparative standards of style and execution, the most 
primitive are the gateway-lions of Boghaz Keui, the dado-reliefs 
and the sphinxes of Euyuk, and, possibly, some sculptures of 
northernmost Syria and mid-north Mesopotamia. Second in the 
evolution come the rock-sculptures of Yasili Kaia, of Ferakdin 
(Arinna ?), and perhaps of Melitene (Hanigalbat), of Giaur Kalessi 
in Galatia and of the pass of Nymphi in Lydia. In the third 
place rank the ‘King’s Gate’ relief at Boghaz Keui, most of the 
Tyanean and Iconian reliefs, and the earlier sculptures discovered 
by the excavators of Carchemish; and in the fourth and last place, 
the later Syrian Hittite sculptures. 

In the second of the Cappadocian groups we see a fully-formed 
peculiar art; but it is not, to all appearances, divided by a great 
interval of time from that of the first group. Clear evidence of 
earlier and later periods of building has been observed at both 
Boghaz Keui and Euyuk. If the monuments of the first artistic 
group belong to Shubbiluliuma’s time, those of the second are 
naturally to be ascribed to the period of Hattushil. This is the 
date most usually assumed for the rock-sculptures of Yasili Kaia. 
Some critics, however, have found in their style such close analogies 
to the arts of the late Assyrian empire and of the late Ramessid 
period in Egypt, that they have refused to refer them to any 
period earlier than the eleventh century b.c.; and it must be ad- 
mitted that their close resemblance to Syrian Hittite sculptures 
and to certain metal objects of the Syrian ‘Cremation Period,’ 
which, on comparison with Cypriote parallels and sculptures 
from Zenjirli, can hardly be pushed back as far as 1000 b.c., 
supports a post-imperial date. On the other hand, the foreign 
features observed in Yasili Kaia art can be explained by a prior 
Assyrian style, revealed by the German excavations at Ashur, and 
by influence of an earlier Egyptian art than the later Ramessid; 
and it is not difficult to account for the appearance of types of 
Hattushil’s time two or three centuries later in Syria, if, as will 
be seen in vol. hi, there is reason to ascribe most of the Hittite 
monuments of Syria to an immigrant people which imported a 
culture learned by earlier generations. In point of fact, however, 
our knowledge of Hattie art in the thirteenth century b.c. does 
not depend on monuments of disputed date. We have precise 
chronological evidence from seal-impressions stamped on cunei- 
form tablets in that century, while their clay was still wet and 
unbaked, i.e. at the time at which they were written. Several of 
these stamps show figures of kings or gods executed in the Yasili 
Kaia style. Therefore, when objections to the monuments of the 


XI, xv] 


Second Hittite group being ascribed to the Hattie Imperial Age 
are balanced against arguments on the other side, we can appeal 
not merely to the a ■priori improbability that this Age should have 
been responsible for no great Cappadocian monuments, but to 
positive evidence in favour of Yasili Kaia having been carved in 
the reign of Hattushil or some other Hattie king of the thirteenth 
century b.c. As for Syria, its Hittite monuments, as well as most 
of those in south-eastern Asia Minor, must be reserved for con- 
sideration in a later connection (cf. below, p. 427 sq). 

According to our classification, then, the sculptures at Yasili 
Kaia and Boghaz Keui ; at Ferakdin and in its near neighbourhood ; 
some at Melitene; those at Giaur Kalessi, at the Midas City, and 
in the Kara Bel near Nymphi, these all are witnesses to Cappa- 
docian culture under the Hattie empire; and, therefore, account 
can be taken unreservedly of their testimony to Hattie religion, 
manners, armament, facial type, fashion of dress and so forth. 
Both Yasili Kaia and Ferakdin appear to record the conjunction 
or the fusion of two cults. The procession which advances from 
the left at Yasili Kaia is headed by a male who, usually bearing 
a bow, is the most common and characteristic of Hattie divine 
figures. He is certainly the Hattie war-god, Tarkhun. The right- 
hand procession is headed by a goddess, the same, without 
doubt, who appears enthroned at Ferakdin and Euyuk. She 
should be that Sun-goddess of Arinna who enjoyed, in the Hattie 
Imperial state, honour as great as the chief god’s. At Ferakdin 
a male votary adores this god, and a female, the goddess. We 
may guess the mortals to be Hattushil himself and his queen, 

What may have become of Hattushash and the Cappadocian 
realm of the Hatti after the opening of the twelfth century must 
be left for discussion in the next volume, where questions con- 
cerning the Syrian Hatti of Carchemish and neighbourhood, as 
well as the Palestinian ‘ Children of Heth ’ (Gen. xxiii), may also be 
dealt with more appropriately than here. But before the considera- 
tion of the Hatti of Asia Minor is concluded, a word may be said 
about the principal states, north of the Taurus, which appear to 
have been subject to, or allied with, them. 

Those, whose local situations can be guessed with reasonable 
probability and of which anything important is known beyond 
names, have all been mentioned already. Four probably lay under, 
or in, the Taurus, namely Hanigalbat, Kissuwadna, Arzawa and 
Tyana (or an unnamed state of which this city was the capital); 
two to the north of these, Kash or Kashkai (Gashga) and Karsaiira 


(Garsatira). Between these last two, in the Argaeus district, was 
another state whose capital city bore later the name Mazaca and 
perhaps at an earlier period and on a different site, that of Kanes. 
Of all these states, those lying farthest west, Tyana and Garsatira, 
and those farthest east, Hanigalbat and Kash, appear to have 
been less dependent on the Hatti than the central states, Kissu- 
wadna, Arzawa and the Argaeus district, through the first and 
last of which lay military ways from north Cappadocia to Syria. 

Kissuwadna is assumed here to have been situated to the south 
of the Hattie home-state and in the Anti-Taurus. This location, 
which is not accepted by all modern authorities, rests on two 
kinds of inferential evidence. First, on a reasonable probability 
that Arinna, its chief holy city, is to be identified with ‘ Araina,’ 
which an Egyptian army reached during a north Syrian campaign, 
and ‘Aruna,’ which Assyrian arms reached through Melitene 
(Hanigalbat). Second, on the association of Kissuwadna with the 
Harri and Aleppo in Hattie official documents — an association 
not only political but geographical. On these two grounds alone 
it seems impossible to place it, as has been proposed, in north 
Cappadocia or Pontus, and to suppose that the sea, which, 
according to the boundaries specified in Murshil’s treaty, it 
touched at one point, can have been the Black Sea. Indeed the 
very argument relied upon by those who place it in the north — 
the mention of it in Hattushil’s letter to Ramses II as a land where 
iron was stored (p. 267) — perhaps favours a southern position: for 
did not Hattushil intend to convey that he had no iron to hand 
at the moment at a Kissuwadnian port from which he would 
naturally export to Egypt? Such a port might have been on the 
Issus gulf, to which an Anti-Tauric state would have had access 
by the Sarus basin. On this theory of its location Kissuwadna 
must have contained another important religious centre besides 
Arinna (possibly at, or near, Ferakdin), namely Kumani (Comana 
Cappadociae, at Shahr in the Anti-Taurus), which Assyrian 
records mention as though it were independent. 

A state or people called Tabal or Tibal appears in later Assyrian 
records in some part of what had been Kissuwadna. Hebrew 
genealogists coupled its name (as Tubal) with Meshech (Ezek. 
xxvii, 13); and probably, like this latter state (or people), which 
makes a first appearance in history about 1x50 b.c., Tibal was 
established in these parts only after the Hattie catastrophe. 
Assyrian forces reached it through north-eastern Cilicia (p. 247). 

Arzawa, whose prince, Tarkhundaraba, had corresponded with 
Amenhotep III before being constrained to accept Shubbilu- 

MAP j- 


Abina (?), F3 
Aleppo, F 3 
Aishe (?), G3 
Amorites, FG 4 
Anti-Taurus Mts., EF 2 
Aramaeans, FG 3 
Arinina (?), E 2 
ArpacI, F 3 
Arzawa {?), BE 3 
Ashur, I 4 
Assyria, I 3, 4 

Babylon, K 5 
Belikh, R., G 3 
BIrejik, G 3 
Boghaz keui, E 2 

Carchemish (Gargamish), G 3 
Cyprus, DE 4 

Damascus, F 5 
Dor, E 5 

Euphrates, R., GHI 1-5 
Euyuk Alaja, Ei 

Gargamish (Carchemish), G 3 
Garsalira, E 2 
Gasga or Kash, FG i, 2 
Gauraina, F 2 
Gurgum, FG 3 

I;lalpa (Aleppo), F 3 

Halys (Red River), DEF 1, 2 

Hamath, F 4 

Haiiigalbat, FG 2 

Flam, FG 3 

£Iatti, E 2 

l-Jattina, F 4 

Ishuwa (?), G3 

Kadesh (?) (on the Orontes), F 4 
Kanes (?), E 2 
Karduniash. K 5 

Kash or Gasga, FG 1, 2 
Khabur, R,, H 3, 4 
Kinza (?), G 3 
Kissuwadna, F 2 
Kode, E 3 
Kumani, F 2 
Kummukh, GH 2, 3 

Lapana (?), EF 4 

Mar* ash, F 3 
Mazaca, E 2 
Milid, G 2 
Mitamii, GH 3 
Mushki, E 2, 3, GH 3 

Nineveh, I 3 
Niy (?), FG 3, 4 
Nukhashshi, F 3 

Orontes, R., F 3, 4 

Putru, G 3 
Pyramus, R., EF 3 

Restan, F 4 

Sajur, R. t F 3 
Sam'at, F $ 

Samsat, G 3 
Sangarius, R. t C 1 
Sardes or Start (Sparta), A 2 
Sarus, R. } E 3, F2 

Tabal, F2 
Tarsus, E 3 
Taurus Mts. ; EF 3 
Tigris, R., G~K 2-5 
Til Barsip, G 3 
Tunip(?), F3 
Tyana, E 3 
Tyre, E 5 

Unki, EF 3 



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liuma’s overlordship and send his contingent to the Syrian war, 
became so intimately connected with the Hatti that its archives 
appear among those found at Boghaz Keui. Since it seems to 
have lain some distance to the south of the Hattie homeland, a 
situation is proposed for it in the Cilician Taurus, where proper 
names compounded with the divine element, Tarkhu, sur- 
vived to late times. In any case it lay near enough to Egypt to 
make mutual correspondence easy and natural. The mention of 
it in Murshil’s treaty with Shunashshura implies that it was a 
neighbour of Kissuwadna; but the absence of its name from all 
known Assyrian records suggests that it lay beyond the ordinary 
range of Assyrian campaigning — probably well over to the west 
in Cilicia Tracheia, where it may have included Isauria and the 
Iconian district. 

Tyana is not mentioned in any certainly deciphered passage 
of a Hattie document; but there is no doubt that, both before and 
after 1200 b.c., it was one of the most important places in western 
Asia. All the Hittite monuments which have been discovered in 
its district seem, however, to belong to a period of non-Hattie 
domination subsequent to the downfall of the Cappadocian 
empire. We must conclude therefore that the Hatti never absorbed 
Tyana sufficiently to ‘Hattize’ its society; but that later it became 
the centre of some other, perhaps a Mushkian, power, which had 
adopted Hittite culture at a previous stage of its history. 

About the two eastern states, Hanigalbat and Kash, we hear a 
good deal from Assyrian sources. The first appears to have been 
attached to the Hattie empire by a very weak bond, which was 
frequently broken. The second was a constant object of Hattie 
expeditions, military or otherwise; and published records of 
Boghaz Keui make it clear that it remained an enemy state im- 
perfectly subjugated, of greater size and importance than any 
other in Cappadocia, and a constant cause of Hattie apprehension. 
Hanigalbat is shown by sculptures and inscriptions found in the 
‘Lion Mound’ at Ordasu, near Malatia, to have had Hittite 
culture; but it is not stated in any document to have been con- 
quered by a Hattie king, nor is it mentioned (nor any city in 
it) in Hattushil’s treaty with Egypt as either Hattie client or 
ally. Lying far over to the east, where the Euphrates is easily 
crossed above the Taurus, it frequently saw Mesopotamian forces, 
whether Assyrian or Mitannian, appear within its borders, and 
perhaps it passed for a time under the domination of Ashur- 
uballit or his successor, when Shubbiluliuma was marching into 
Syria, as it would again under that of Shalmaneser, when Hattu- 


c. a.h. rr 


shil II was making his peace with Ramses. It seems certainly t 0 
have had some connection with Kash — in the twelfth century an 
Assyrian record groups it with that state and with Gurg Um 
which lay immediately south of Taurus — and to have shared 
Kashite policy and fortunes, or even perhaps to have been occupied 
during a certain period by ‘Kashkians.’ Kash also was not Hattie 
either in race or in normal political allegiance; not can it, on 
present evidence, be reckoned within the Hittite area, although 
it lay contiguous to the Hattie home state; for eastern Capp a _ 
docia, north of the Tokhma Su, has yielded no Hittite remains 
As for Mazki or Mushki (Hebrew, Meshech), which armies 
of the later Assyrian empire used to attack from Khilakku 
(central Cilicia), this people or state, which appears to have 
been of first-rate importance in eastern and central Asia Minor 
during the twelfth and succeeding centuries, is not mentioned 
either in any Hattie document or in the earlier Assyrian records 
at present available. It must, therefore, be presumed to have 
been post-Hattic. There is good reason to regard Tyana, after 
1200 e.c., as either its capital or one of its chief centres; and 
possibly in the name, Mazaka, we have evidence of the earlier 
presence of Mushki (Mazki) in the Argaeus district. 




O NE of the most important enquiries in the ancient history 
of the Near East relates to the explanation, in the light of 
modern archaeological research, of the Egyptian records of con- 
nection, peaceful or hostile, with certain seafaring tribes of the 
Mediterranean coasts, apparently Cyprus, the southern coast of 
Asia Minor, Crete, and the Aegean. This enquiry is intimately 
connected with the question of the racial identity of the Philistines, 
who appear to have been one of the most important of these tribes, 
and to have settled in Palestine after the repulse of an attack 
which they made in the reign of Ramses III, about 1190 b.c. 
(see p. 174 sq.). The discovery of the origin of this hitherto enig- 
matical people, who always appear in the O.T. narratives as 
foreigners totally distinct from the Semitic inhabitants of Pales- 
tine, is due to the decipherment of the Egyptian records. 

Not the least notable discovery of the older Egyptologists 
was the identification of these tribes as bearing names similar 
to those of peoples of Asia Minor, Greece, and, apparently, 
even Italy, that are famous in classical tradition. Thus, even 
Champollion, the pioneer of Egyptology, writing before 1832, not 
only identified the Philistines of biblical tradition, but also recog- 
nized the Ionians in the reign of Ramses II as allies of the 
northern people whom he called ‘Scheto,’ afterwards known to 
be identical with the Hatti of the Assyrians and the biblical 
Hittites. In 1857 Birch identified Keftiu with the biblical Caphtor, 
either Crete, or, preferably, Cyprus. In the same year Brugsch 
identified the Keftians preferably with the Cretans rather than the 
Cyprians; the Shardana, he was certain, came from the farther 
Mediterranean, not from the Palestinian coast, and the Pulesati 
(Purasati or Pelishti) were the Philistines, as Champollion had 
said. Ten years later de Rouge wrote his epoch-making article 
{Revue Archeologique, 1867) which for the first time asserted the 
historical identity of these tribes en bloc, identifying the Mas a as 
Mysians, Luka as Lycians, Dardeni as Dardanians, Akaiwasha 


as Achaeans, Tursha as Tyrrhenians, Shakalsha as Siculi, and 
Shardina as Sardinians. De Rouge certainly conceived of the 
three last tribes as coming from Italy, Sicily and Sardinia. Herein 
he was followed by Chabas in his Etudes sur /’ Antiquite historique 
(1873), after the death of de Rouge, who had never been able to 
complete the task which he had set himself of following up his 
identification into the maze of Greek legend. Chabas adds to his 
Italians the Daanau, whom he calls Daunians, and the Uashasha , 
mentioned by Ramses III, whom he calls Osci. He forgot that 
the Osci were really Opsci, the ’O7 tlko'i of the Greeks; and of 
course philological impossibilities of this kind were eagerly seized 
upon by the opponents of the new knowledge, who were specially 
strong among the classical scholars of Great Britain and of Ger- 
many. There, Brugsch now made a groundless attempt to prove 
that all these tribes were not Peoples of the Sea at all, but inland 
folk from the regions of the Caucasus. This view was probably 
credited in this country for a generation. Also, Lenormant, in his 
ancient history, and Gladstone, in his Juventus Mundi, fantastically 
exaggerated the result of the new knowledge, so that the contribu- 
tion of Egyptology to the elucidation of the early history of 
Greece remained under a cloud until Maspero sifted the wheat 
from the chaff, insisted on the incontrovertible facts, and pointed 
out the way in which we were to interpret them. Sir Charles 
Oman, in his History of Greece (1890), was probably the first 
English historian of Greece to accept the Akaiwasha unreservedly 
as Achaeans. Since then, but for an attempt by Prof. Petrie to 
prove that the Akaiwasha, and other allies of the Mashauasha, 
or Maxyes (p. 166), against Merneptah were Libyans like them, 
the general identification of these ‘Peoples of the Sea’ has not 
been challenged, except on minor counts. It is now commonly 
held, therefore, that they were tribes of the Mediterranean, some 
of them Greeks living in the Aegean, who attacked Egypt in the 
thirteenth and twelfth centuries b.c., having already appeared on 
the coasts of Syria as early as the end of the fifteenth. 

The late Egyptian name for Greeks generally was Oueeienin , 
which may be regarded as a corrupt form of ’Id < ov (Yawan), or 
of the hieroglyphic name Ha-nebu (presumably pronounced some- 
thing like Ho-nim ), which was used for "EWrjves in the Ptolemaic 
Canopus decree, and occurs at least as early as the Vth Dynasty 
(Pyramid Temple of Sahure) for people living in the Delta. It is 
probable that it originally meant ‘the Marsh-people,’ and, by a 
process familiar to those acquainted with Egyptian hieroglyphs, in 
later times it probably came to mean to the Egyptians ‘ Lords of 


the North,’ or, perhaps, ‘All the Northerners.’ It then denoted the 
Mediterranean peoples generally, and so, eventually, ‘Greeks’; 
but it may be doubted whether originally it meant more than - 
non-Egyptian inhabitants of the Delta-coast, perhaps seagoers, 
perhaps, indeed, Mediterraneans. In any case it is probable that 
direct relations existed between the Egyptians and the Cretans 
as early as the Egyptian predynastic period and it is certain that 
they existed during the time of the Old Kingdom, and continued 
through that of the Middle Kingdom to the XVIIIth Dynasty 
and the period of Cnossus. This we know from the evidence of 
Cretan archaeology 1 . ‘Ha-nebu,’ we may conclude, was a general 
term for Northerners, and, therefore, for Greeks. 

We now come to the specific historical groups of the men of 
Keftiu or ‘Men of the Isles,’ and the ‘Peoples of the Sea.’ The 
latter appellation has the ancient authority of a description of the 
tribes of this group as living ‘in the midst of the sea,’ and is con- 
veniently restricted to the tribes who warred with or took service 
in Egypt from the time of Amenhotep III to that of Ramses III. 
The ‘Men of the Isles’ (this name is used as an alternative for, 
or as a description of, the Keftians) are a somewhat earlier group, 
which appears in the time of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II, 
and does not reappear afterwards. This fact is very important, in 
view of the other fact that these Keftians or Men of the Isles were 
Minoans (probably from Crete), and it is to the fourteenth 
century that we must ascribe the fall of the Minoan culture in 
Crete before the attacks of just such migratory piratical tribes 
as the ‘Peoples of the Sea’ who troubled Egypt for so long 

The ‘Peoples of the Sea’ were not Minoans: they did not wear 
the Minoan costume, as did the Keftians and Men of the Isles. 
But their costume was that worn by peoples not unknown to the 

1 It would now seem that the greatest period of Minoan culture was the 
Third Middle Minoan, contemporary with the latter part of the Egyptian 
Middle Kingdom (Xlllth Dynasty and Hyksos Period). The ‘Great 
Palace period,’ contemporary with the XVIIIth Dynasty, was a somewhat 
degenerate rococo time. In connection with the relations of Crete with the 
Egyptian Delta must be noticed the theory of Weill that the supposed 
submarine moles and other harbour works discovered by a French engineer, 
M. Jondet, at Alexandria, are prehistoric, and the work of Aegeans (Ha- 
nebu?). Sir Arthur Evans accepts Weill’s view in The Palace of Minos, 1; 
but it is rejected by M. Jondet himself and by Hogarth ( Royal Geog. Soc. 
Journ. 1922, p. 22 sq.), whose opinion that these moles, if they are harbour- 
works at all (which he doubts), are much more likely to be of Ptolemaic 
date seems entirely justified. 


Minoans, and apparently often at war with them : we see instances 
of the Philistines feather-cap on the warriors of the silver vase from 
•Mycenae and the corselet of the Shardina on the ivory mirror- 
handle with the Arimasp from Enkomi (p. 292). Earlier still we 
see the Philistine headgear on the Phaestus Disk. There is nothing 
Minoan or Keftian about the Phaestus Disk : its Lycian or Carian 
origin is assured. The classical traditions about the Carians are 
here of service, and we can see that the ‘Peoples of the Sea’ 
correspond remarkably to the Carian thalassocracy of tradition 
with which Minos the Cretan warred, according to the tradition 
preserved by Herodotus and Thucydides. It may be that this 
tradition preserves in an inaccurate form a reminiscence of early 
struggles between the Cretans and those ‘Carians’ of the Asia 
Minor coast who, after the fall of the Cretan thalassocracy, burst 
out into the piratical raids on the neighbouring coasts and islands 
which are mentioned in the Amarna letters and continued until 
the time of Ramses III. 

The Minoan Keftians, then, must be sharply distinguished from 
the Carian and Lycian ‘Peoples of the Sea,’ and their allies, the 
Achaean Akaiwasha and others. It is therefore difficult for the 
present writer to accept those theories which, on the ground of 
the fact that the ‘Peoples of the Sea’ frequented the Syrian coast, 
would assign to them a preponderating role in Phoenicia, as 
Minoan rulers of the Semitic inhabitants, and would ascribe the 
Phoenician love of the sea to Keftian and Minoan influence or 
even blood. It seems impossible to ascribe Phoenician sea-going 
to ‘Carians.’ It must be much older than their raids, and we have 
no historical proof of any ‘Carian’ rule in the Phoenician states. 
In the Amarna letters the Phoenician chiefs appear to be all 
Semites with Semitic names, and the Shekhlal and others who 
frequent their ports are independent pirates or mercenaries in 
the pay of Egypt. Support has been sought for the theory of 
Minoan influence on Phoenicia in the fact that the land of 
Keftiu was equated by Ptolemaic historiographers with Phoenicia; 
but there is nothing Phoenician about the appearance of the 
Keftians. If they appear depicted by the Egyptians in costumes 
departing considerably from the Minoan fashion, and approaching 
that of the Syrian, this may be due either to the Cilician origin of 
these particular Keftians, or more simply to inaccuracy on the 
part of the Egyptian artists. In the earliest representations of the 
Keftians, those in the tomb of Rekhmire (p. 414), they are dis- 
tinctly Minoan Cretans, with the characteristic coiffure of the 
latter, with its long tresses to the waist and fantastic curls on the 


top of the head; they are completely different from that of the 
Semites, who never wore their hair so long or dressed in this 
distinctive wise. Such peculiar personal adornments and fashions 
of dressing the hair are, as all students of ethnology know, matters 
of tribal custom, and extremely important as criteria of race. In 
the tomb of Menkheperresenb, too, where the offerings, though 
badly drawn, are as clearly objects of Minoan Cretan art, as in that 
of Sennemut, the characteristic Cretan coiffure with its separate 
tresses or plaits is plain, though the kilts are not specially Cretan 
in character. And in Hebrew tradition Caphtor was, if not cer- 
tainly identified with Crete, at all events closely associated with 
Cretans. It is not impossible, however, that Keftians may have 
lived as far east as the Cilician coast, or, more probably, that the 
Egyptians knew of tribes there, related to the Cretans or migrants 
from Crete (like those who had undoubtedly colonized Cyprus 
before 1450 b.c., as we know from the discoveries at Enkomi), 
and called them by the same name as they did the Cretans proper. 
This much may be conceded, although the Ptolemaic identifica- 
tion can only be regarded as an error. The Ptolemaic priests are 
hardly to be relied upon in a matter of this kind, relating to a 
period more than a thousand years before their time, when, as 
here, their statements conflict with conclusions based upon our 
archaeological and historical knowledge. See also p. 438. 

The finst mention of the name Keftiu, in the form Kefatiu , 
occurs in the papyrus containing the prophecies of Ipuwer, known 
as ‘the Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage’ (see vol. 1, p. 344). As 
the original text is certainly as old as the Middle Kingdom, if 
not older, the mention of Kefatiu , unless it is an interpolation, is 
much older than the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty. And, in fact, 
there is evidence, as already mentioned, for early relations 
between Crete and Egypt even in the Vlth Dynasty. The greatest 
vogue of the name, however, was within the narrow limits of a 
single century, between 1500 and 1400 b.c., more especially in 
the reign of Thutmose III. Now, this was precisely the period of 
the most elaborate, but already decadent, culture of Crete which 
we call ‘Late Minoan I ’ at Cnossus: ‘Late Minoan II,’ the second 
period, being hardly observable as a separate epoch elsewhere 
in Crete or in the isles, where C L.M. I.’ changes imperceptibly 
to ‘L.M. III.’ It may be that at this time Minoan dynasts, 
hearing of the renown of Thutmose the conqueror, hastened to 
send him ambassadors with gifts. The court-poet makes Amon say 
in the triumphal inscription of Karnak: ‘I have come: I have 
caused thee to smite the lands of the West: Keftiu and Asy are 



in fear. I have caused them to see thy Majesty as a young bull, 
firm of heart, sharp-horned, unapproachable.’ Thutmose, pre- 
sumably, never approached Crete, or even Cilicia, in arms : but he 
could regard the gifts of the west as a tribute to his prestige, as 
indeed they were. Silver vases of Keftiu-work came to Egypt as 
tribute from Syria: no doubt the Cretan artists had an extensive 
market for their vases. Ships went direct to Keftiu from the 
Phoenician and Delta ports: in a Theban tomb-picture of the 
XVII Ith Dynasty a Phoenician ship, manned by Semites, brings 
Mycenaean (?) pottery to Thebes. The Keftiu-ships may have 
been Phoenician or Keftian, probably both : we have no proof that 
the Phoenicians were not permitted to trade in the Aegean even 
in Minoan days. 

Under Amenhotep III the name occurs once, under the XIXth 
Dynasty twice officially — in one case in a list of subject peoples. 
The list is a vague and general one, of the inaccurate kind not 
unknown in Egypt, in which Tehennu (Libya), Naharin (Syria), 
Ashur (Assyria), Sangara (? Babylonia), Kheta (Anatolia), Keftiu 
(Crete) and Asy (? Cyprus or Asia Minor coast) are all claimed as 
subjects with little justification, and certainly none in the case of 
Kheta. No conclusion as to the precise geographical position of 
Keftiu can be drawn from such a conventional list. Also there are, 
so to speak, ‘unofficial’ references: the list of Keftian names on a 
writing-board in the British Museum (of the middle of the 
XVIIIth Dynasty), the charm in the Kefti-language against ‘the 
Asiatic Disease,’ also in the British Museum, which is of XVIIIth— 
XIXth Dynasty date (though it used to be considered to be much 
later), the mention of a Keftian under the XIXth Dynasty, and 
then silence 1 . The name Keftiu disappears till, the Ptolemaic 
historiographer says, it means Phoenicia. Does not this disap- 
pearance agree with the fact of the overthrow and disappearance 
of Minoan culture in the welter of the ‘Peoples of the Sea’? 

Whether the name Keftiu was a local appellation or of Egyptian 
origin we do not know. An Egyptian explanation of it as ‘ the 
Hinder-lands,’ at the back of beyond, so to speak, is possible, but 
not proven; the earliest known form, Kefatiu, is in favour of it. 

The name of Asy, associated with Keftiu under the XVIIIth 
Dynasty, has usually been taken to be an Egyptian mispronuncia- 

1 Another translation of the charm above mentioned would make Keftian 
an ‘Asiatic language.’ If this rendering is correct it is probably merely 
another instance of loose and inaccurate Egyptian description. The language 
quoted may, too, not be really Cretan Keftian at all, but some mock- 
Asiatic jargon which the Egyptian scribe called ‘Keftian.’ 


tion of the name of the land of Alashiya as ‘ As’ya’ : later in the 
dynasty the more correct form Alesa was used. The land of 
Alashiya (the biblical Elishah ?), introduced to us by the Amarna 
letters, has usually been taken to be Cyprus, where in later times 
an Apollo Alahiotas or Alasiotas was worshipped. Copper, too, 
was an important export from Alashiya or Alesa, as we see both 
from the letters and the lists. But there are serious arguments 
against this identification, and the coast-land of Cilicia seems as 
likely to have been Alashiya as Cyprus. At all events the identi- 
fication of Asy with Alashiya and with Cyprus is extremely 

It is quite possible that the Egyptians of the XVIIIth Dynasty 
called Cyprus Tantinai , which would be the same as the later 
Assyrian name for the island, Yatnana\ and Asy would seem rather 
to be the mainland of Asia Minor, perhaps west of Cilicia and 
Alashiya, and the name may simply be ‘Asia’ itself. Neither Asy 
nor Alashiya is mentioned after the XIXth Dynasty. Another 
name contemporary with -Keftiu is that of the western isles of 
Utentiu\ but it is quite uncertain whether this is the Libyan coast, 
or a hint of Sicily and Italy, or even a misunderstanding of the 
name Tinay or Yantinai (Cyprus). 

Of the ‘Peoples of the Sea,’ not associated with the Keftians, the 
earliest to be mentioned are the Shardina , Shekhlal , Danuna and 
Lukki or Luka , who first appear in the Amarna letters. The fact that 
the name of Keftiu does not once occur in them makes it unlikely 
that it was Cilicia. The Shekhlal (? Shakalsha) and probably the 
Shardina are Egyptian mercenaries; the Luka are raiders and 
spoilers on the Phoenician coast. Danuna isaland atpeace(p. 322). 
The last name is uncertain, but has been identified with the biblical 
Dodanim and the Greek Danai. The supposed mention of Yivana, 
i.e. lonians, in one of the letters is no longer maintained. 

Next, in the reign of Ramses II we have the allies of the Hatti 
in the war with Egypt (p. 14 1) : Luka, Pidasa , Masa , Dardenui , 
Iliunna (?), Kalikisha and Mushant. There is no doubt that these 
allies of the Hittites lived in Anatolia, and it is still a legitimate con- 
clusion that these peoples were Lycians, Pisidians (or PedasiansP), 
Mysians, Dardanians, Ilians (?) and Cilicians — we cannot identify 
the Mushant. The name Iliunna has otherwise been read ( a ) Ari- 
unna and identified with Oroanda, or (b) Maunna and identified 
with Maeonia, or (c) Yew anna and identified with Yawan (’I acov), 
the lonians. Since the supposed mention of Yivana in the Amarna 
letters is to be rejected, in spite of the tempting nature of the 
identification with the Ionian name, it is much more probable 


philologically that Ilion and the Trojans are meant. Excavation 
has certainly shown us that Ilion existed then, and had existed 
for centuries before as an important town. The Dardenui can only 
have been Dardanians, whether they were then in the Troad or 
not, and this being so, the Iliunna or Iriunna are naturally Ilians, 
and the Masa probably Mysians of the Hellespontine region. 
That the Luka were Lycians is evident from their mention both 
here and in the Amarna letters, where they appear as piratical 
raiders of Alashiya. Their name is no doubt native, and does not 
show that there were then in the Mediterranean Aryan Greeks 
who handed their name on to the Egyptians in a Greek form as 
‘wolf-folk’ (XvKoi), appropriate, no doubt, though that appella- 
tion would have been. The only name, however, by which, as we 
learn from their inscriptions, they knew themselves is Trmmli 
(Tr^m-li, Tep/ukcu). Cf. p. 9. 

The Luka reappear in the alliance of the sea-peoples with the 
Libyan Mashawasha or Maxyes in the reign of Merneptah (c. 
1225 b.c.), and associated with them- were Shardina , Shakalsha , 
Tursha and Akaiwasha, ‘Northerners coming from all lands.’ It 
is noticeable that (if the word karnata means ‘foreskin,’ and not 
simply penis-sheath, ‘codpiece’) they are specially described as 
uncircumcised. Here we meet with the Shardina and Shakalsha, 
not as mercenaries, but as enemies, and with them the Tursha. 
It was natural that these three should have been identified as 
Sardinians, Sikels and Tyrsenians, and that the Akaiwasha should 
have been hailed as Achaeans. And although the Shakalsha are 
more probably Sagalassians of Pisidia than Sikels, the Shardina 
and Tursha were, in a sense, Sardinians and Tyrsenians. That is 
to say, they were, as Maspero brilliantly surmised, Sardinians and 
Tyrsenians on the way to and not yet settled in Sardinia and 
Italy: Sardians from Sardes and Tursci from Lydia — the Tyr- 
rhenians who emigrated from Asia Minor to Italy, as Herodotus 
tells us and as archaeology testifies. It is remarkable how tradition, 
archaeological evidence and Egyptian historical data thus agree 
in confirming this origin of Etruscan civilization in Asia Minor 
and the probable racial kinship of the Etruscans to the Hittites. 

As for the all-interesting Akaiwasha, what especially puzzled 
the classical scholar was the suffix -sha. This was explained for the 
first time in 1901 by the present writer as the Asianic ethnic 
suffix known in Lycian as -aza or -azi (the town name-termination 
-acrcros as in Sagalassos), while the -na suffix was shown to be the 
other Asianic ethnic suffix -nna (the town name-termination -v&a, 
as in Oroanda) ; cf. p. 16. He was followed in this conclusion 


three years later by Weill, who subsequently drew attention to 
another explanation which would make Akaiwash(a) the same as 
’A^atw?, with an old nominative plural in -m. The Egyptian word 
may well have been vocalized Akaivdsh\ but the other explanation 
seems more probable, and is generally accepted. The equation of 
the Greek ^ with k or g apparently presents no difficulty since we 
have the reverse equation in the Assyrian Khilakku — KiOukcs; 
and it must be remembered that the early Greek y was not a 
guttural h but an aspirated k (i.e. k + h). Such an aspirate could 
easily be omitted in a foreign transcription of a name. 

On these grounds, therefore, it is by no means beyond the 
bounds of probability that the Akaiwasha who invaded Egypt in 
the reign of Merneptah were really of the race of the Achaeans, 
who now make their first appearance in history as a small band 
of chance rovers, ‘fighting to fill their bellies daily,’ as the 
Egyptian record pithily puts it. 


The next mention of the sea-tribes is thirty years later, in the 
great invasion of c. 1194 b.c., at the beginning of the reign of 
Ramses III (p. 173). This appears to have been a veritable folk- 
wandering, coming both by land and sea from the Aegean Isles 
and southern coasts of Asia Minor round by Cyprus and the Gulf 
of Issus to Phoenicia and Syria, thence down the coast, possibly to 
the very border of Egypt, where the Pharaoh met and defeated the 
migrating tribes in the Serbonian marshes. In this fight Shardina 
fought Shardina; for some were among the Egyptian huscarles, 
and others were free vikings. There were Tursha, too, on the 
Egyptian side. Besides Shardina , the barbarian host consisted of 
Pulesati ( Purasati ), Washasha , Zakaray ( Zakkal ), Shakalsha , and 
the Daanau or Panaua , whom we perhaps know already as fre- 
quenters of the Phoenician coast, nearly two centuries before 1 . 

1 As this is uncertain (see p. 281) the Danuna may be a new appearance 
altogether. The Egyptian authorities for the names are the inscriptions of 
Ramses III at Medinet Habu and the ‘ Great Harris Papyrus.’ Prof. Breasted, 
it has been seen, regards the fighting as having taken place on the Phoe- 
nician coast (p. 174^.). The Washasha have been identified with Oassians 
of Caria by Maspero, with men of Issus on the Syrian coast by Sayce, and, 
by the present writer, with the Oaxians or Fafyoc of Crete. These people 
came from farther off than the Gulf of Issus, where the Egyptians placed 
the land of Kode, and where probably was the Kissuwadna of the Egyptian 
and Hittite records (S. Smith, Journ. Eg. Arch. 1922, p. 45 sq.). There is 


Despite all the uncertainties, these tribes were evidently 
westerners, and cannot well have come from anywhere much east 
of the Aegean. The Shakalsha may have been Pisidians of Saga- 
lassus. The Pulesati were clearly a people of the south-west corner 
of the Asiatic mainland, like the Luka, men with the distinctive 
armour and feather-crest of the Lycians and Carians, and of the 
same race as the latter. According to the Egyptian record, ‘ The 
Isles were restless, disturbed among themselves at one and the 
same time. No land stood before them, beginning from Kheta 
(Cappadocia), Kedi (the “circling” of the Syrian coast at the 
Gulf of Issus), Carchemish, Arvad and Alashiya. They destroyed 
them, and assembled in their camp in the midst of Amor 
(Palestine).’ Evidently the whole of Syria was overrun as far as 
the Euphrates by the land-horde, while the ship-men kept along 
the coast, overwhelming Alashiya on the way. Then a halt was 
called in southern Syria until, no doubt, everything around had 
been eaten up; and, pressure from behind increasing, the mass 
began to roll forward again towards Egypt, with the result we 
already know. 

What caused this migration, very different from the previous 
fights with the Hittite allies or attacks by pirate squadrons, we 
do not know. It might with some probability be assigned to the 
invasion of the Bryges or Phrygians from Thrace, who may have 
crossed the Hellespont about this time and carved out for them- 
selves a land from the possessions of the Anatolians. The great 
kingdom of Hatti now fell, whether, as the Egyptians thought, 
before the Philistines and their allies, who would be retreating 
before the Phrygians, or, as is more probable, before the direct 
attack of the Phrygians themselves. The displaced peoples of the 
Aegean shore and the hinterland of Lycia, Caria and Pamphylia, 
would naturally take their way eastward farther south along the 
coast of Cilicia. 

It would seem that the Pulesati and their allies, baulked in their 
attempt to overrun Egypt, settled down in the Shephelah, where 
we find the Pelishtlm a century or so later contending with the 
Israelites. It is from the references to these Philistines in the 
biblical tradition that we realize their character as alien invaders, 
entirely foreign to the Semites, and see how inevitable is the 
conclusion that they were identical with the Pulesati of Egyptian 

no room for these tribes so near as the north Syrian coast. Zakaray used to 
be identified with the T ev/epot, but the v is a difficulty, and Petrie suggested 
that they might be men of Zakro in Crete: the name, though not mentioned 
by classical writers, may be very old. 


history. Of their allies the Zakaray alone reappear, nearly a 
century later, settled farther north, at Dor (p. 380); the rest 
disappear. From a reference in the Harris Papyrus it would 
appear that the Washasha were left behind and enslaved in Egypt. 
The nofl-Semitic name Ziklag may, if textually correct, be con- 
nected with the Zakaray (Zakkal), or even with the Shakalsha. 
The place lay in the ‘Negeb of the Kerethim,’ south of Philistia 
proper, but it is quite possible that these tribes themselves split 
up after their defeat and escape (cf. p. 175). 

The biblical * Cherethites ’ is apparently synonymous with 
‘Philistines.’ ‘Woe,’ cries Zephaniah (ii, 5 sq.), ‘to the people of 
the sea-coast, the folk of the Kerethim! The word of Yahweh is 
against thee, O Canaan, land of the Philistines, and I shall 
destroy thee that thou shalt have no inhabitant. And Kereth (so 
we should read) shall be dwellings for shepherds and folds for 
flocks!’ By Ezekiel, too (xxv, 16), the Philistines and the Kerethim 
are included in a common denunciation. Elsewhere the Keretht , 
or Cherethites, are mentioned as huscarles of king David, with 
the Pelethl or ‘Pelethites,’ who may simply be Philistines, the 
form (with the otherwise inexplicable omission of the sh) being 
framed in order to produce an assonance between the names. 
Now the name Kereth! (Kerethim or Cherethim) is translated by 
‘Cretans’ in the Greek version of the passages from Zephaniah 
and Ezekiel mentioned above: in classical days the inhabitants 
of the Palestinian coast were certainly of opinion that they were 
of Cretan origin, and the idea was generally accepted by the rest 
of the world. For example, we find it in Tacitus, who, however, 
confuses the Jews with the Philistines 1 . Gaza, where Samson 
brought the pillars of the temple to the ground upon the lords of 
the Philistines, was in Roman times called Minoa, and its god 
Marnas (‘ our Lord ’) was considered to be the same as Zeus Kreta- 
genes (Velchanos), the Minoan-Carian Zeus of the double-axe 
who was born on Ida, nourished on Dicte and who died on Iuctas. 
Such traditions can hardly be regarded as the result of a Ptolemaic 
or Roman antiquarianism, based on the resemblance of the name 
of Crete to that of Cherethim, which persisted. There are other 
connections between the Philistines and Crete besides the name 
of Kereth!, which obviously means Crete when taken in con- 
junction with the other evidence; though if it stood alone we 
might regard it as a mere coincidence, in which case Kereth! and 
Pelethl would have nothing to do with ‘the Peoples of the Sea.’ 

1 ‘ ludaeos Creta insula profugos nouissima Libyae insedisse memorant, 
qua tempestate Saturnus ui louis pulsus cesserit regnis’ (Hist. V, 2). 


The name and identity of the biblical Caphtor now come into 
consideration. ‘Have I not brought Israel out of Egypt and the 
Philistines from Caphtor?’ says Amos (ix, 7). It would be useless 
to recapitulate here all the arguments for and against the identity 
of Caphtor with Crete, since the days of Brugsch’s first acceptance 
of the equation in 1859. Much of the argument in favour of the 
identification rests, of course, upon the identity of Kejtiu with 
Crete. The name of Keftiu has naturally been identified with 
Caphtor, in spite of the final r (which however has been explained 
away by Egyptian philologists) . The Keftians, described as such 
in the tomb of Rekhmire at Thebes, are Minoan Cretans, 
whether they were identical with ‘the Men of the Isles’ or not. 
And presumably the Minoans of the tombs of Sennemut and 
Menkheperresenb are Keftians and Cretans too. We cannot assert 
that the name Keftians was given by the Egyptians to the kindred 
(Minoan or semi-Minoan) peoples who, as we have seen, may 
have lived as far east as Cilicia, although there is no archaeological 
proof that they did. The Minoans of Cyprus would no doubt be 
Keftians. They were migrants from Crete. It is therefore most 
natural to regard Caphtor and Keftiu as Crete. In view of the 
name Kereth and the classical traditions of Philistia it would 
seem probable that to the Hebrews Caphtor meant Crete. From 
there they came to Palestine. ‘And the Awim, who dwelt in 
villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim, who had come forth out of 
Caphtor, destroyed them and dwelt in their stead’ (Deut. ii, 23). 
In the book of Jeremiah (xlvii, 4) a prophecy against the Philistines 
declares that Yahweh ‘ destroyeth the Philistines, the remainder of 
the sea-shore (or isle) of Caphtor.’ 

There is however a serious difficulty in accepting this con- 
clusion without modification. The Philistines were not Keftians 
or Minoans, nor were the Shardina, Tursha, or Shakalsha. Like 
the Shardina and the rest, they did not wear the Minoan or 
Keftian dress. They apparently wore laminated body-armour. 
The Minoan is never represented wearing any, even when 
fighting, but as cuirasses are depicted on the hieroglyphic tablets 
of Cnossus, this cannot be pressed. The Keftian comes to Egypt 
as a peaceful ambassador, and naturally does not wear armour. 
The Philistine carried, not the typical double-bossed shield, like 
the figure 8, which the Minoan and Mycenaean used, but a 
smaller round shield, like that of the Shardina. Also he used, not 
the rapier-like thrusting Minoan blade, but a great cutting broad- 
sword, also like the Shardina. Finally, his headdress was altogether 
different. He wore a high feather-crest (the Xo<po s of the Greeks, 


the magiduta of the Assyrians) like that of the Carians and Lydians, 
beneath which no hair is visible. From the heads on the Phaestus 
Disk, which certainly represent people of the same race as the 
Philistines, it would seem as though the head were shaven, a 
fashion in direct contrast to the unshorn tresses of the Minoan- 
Keftian men. 

Hence, the Philistine was very different in appearance from the 
Minoan or Keftian of Crete. He lived at a later time, it is true, 
but we know from the Phaestus Disk that his appearance was the 
same in Middle Minoan days as in that of Ramses III, when the 
Late Minoan period was nearing its end, and the great days of 
Cnossus were past. We do not see him in the Cretan representa- 
tions of Minoan Cretans. He appears, probably as an enemy of 
the Minoans, on the silver vase from Mycenae with the well- 
known siege-scene embossed upon it, and here he carries, appar- 
ently, a rectangular shield resembling a Roman shape (see p. 452). 
Where he came from in reality is evident from his costume. With 
the Shardina and Tursha (the latter wear a similar feathered head- 
dress) he came from the south-west angle of Asia Minor (p. 282). 
The Shardina was on his way from Sardes to Sardo, the Tursha 
from Lydia to Etruria. It is possible enough that, at the breakdown 
of Cnossian power and the eclipse of Minoan civilization, the 
Carian tribes, among them the Philistines, may have occupied 
the eastern end of Crete; and if Caphtor is to be confined rigidly 
to Crete, we must suppose that they came to Palestine via Crete. 
But in all probability Caphtor is not to be confined solely to 
Crete, but meant Crete and, in general, the other islands and 
lands in its vicinity, Caria and Lycia included. If so, since Caphtor 
can hardly be other than identical with Keftiu, the latter name 
may have meant, also, to the Egyptian, not necessarily Crete only, 
but the neighbouring isles and lands to the eastward, though the 
Keftian proper (the inhabitant of the real Caphtor) was to the 
Egyptian a Minoan, which the Philistine was not. It may be 
observed that one of the parallels between Keftiu and the Philis- 
tines is the Philistine name Achish (the biblical form) or Ikaushu 
(Assyrian records), and this is rightly compared with the Akashau 
(vocalized by some as ‘Ekosh’) which occurs in the Egyptian 
list of Keftian names, already mentioned (p. 280). In the Septua- 
gint, Achish is ’ Ayxovs, and the name is no doubt the same as 
the famous Trojan Anchises : i.e. it is an Asia Minor rather than 
a Cretan name. 

Thus we perceive that tradition brought the Philistines ap- 
proximately from their real home. The fact that the Caphtorim, 



from whom the Philistines came forth (so we should read, in 
Gen. x, 14) are ‘children of Mizraim ’ is evidently merely a 
political figure: the Philistines were historically tributaries of 
Egypt after their defeat, at all events until the time of David, and 
no doubt their later political leanings were generally Egyptian. 
Accordingly, the Caphtorim (and Caslukhim) from whom they 
sprang were also regarded as politically akin to Egypt. To take 
the reference in any other than a political sense seems impossible; 
we cannot regard the Philistines as having come forth out of 
Egypt, except in so far as they did so when they were ejected 
pell-mell by Ramses III, presumably from the Delta (see p. 283, 
and note 1, above). That they really came from Lycia and Caria 
is, as we have seen, the only view we can take. 

The question now arises, If the Philistines were not Cretans at 
all, how are we to account for the classical traditions of Cretan 
connection? Although there was undoubtedly a distinction be- 
tween the Aegean and the Carian races, to which the Philistines 
must have belonged, one does not as yet know that it was a 
fundamental one. On the contrary, the relationship, between 
what we know of Minoan religion and that of Anatolia forbids 
us to suppose that there need have been much difference between 
Cretan religious beliefs and customs and those of Lycia and Caria 
(p. 9 sq .) . Were not the gods of the bull and the double-axe as much 
at home at Labraunda in Caria as in the Labyrinth of Cnossus? 
With the Minotaur went Minos, and, given a traditional identi- 
fication of Caphtor with Crete, it would easily be possible for 
Minoan traditions to appear at Askalon or Gaza, and for the 
latter place to receive the name Minoa. Derceto or Atargatis no 
doubt had her close analogues in Caria and Lycia as well as in 
Crete. And not only do we find Cretan traditions in Philistia: 
the legend of Perseus and Andromeda, which was located there, 
is connected with Lycia, not with Crete. The Carian-Aegean 
element in the religion and the traditions of the Philistine coast 
is evident, and such an element would easily come to be regarded 
as Cretan. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that the Zakaray 
(or ZakkaJ) and the Washasha have both been regarded as 
genuine Cretan tribes, though their allies were not. We have, 
unfortunately, no representations of them to show whether they 
wore Minoan dress. But a genuine Cretan element among the 
allies is not to be excluded, and is no doubt responsible for the 
name of the Kerethi or Cherethim, who ought perhaps to be 
distinguished from the Philistines proper, the ‘Pelethi.’ 



The Cretan-Carian colony in Palestine seems thus sufficiently 
assured to be regarded as a historical fact. Although after the rise 
of the kingdom of Israel it ceased to be powerful as a political 
entity, yet the foreign blood long remained distinguishable, and 
marked off the inhabitants of the ‘ coast of the Caphtorim ’ as 
distinct from the other men of Canaan. Unless we are to under- 
stand that a local Semitic dialect is meant, the language continued 
to be distinct at Ashdod until the time of Nehemiah (xiii, 2,4). 
This would find a parallel in the survival of Eteocretan in the 
east of Crete until the fourth and third centuries b.c., as we know 
from the inscriptions of Praesus. Achish (Ikaushu) and other 
Philistine-Keftian names occur in the eighth century Assyrian 
records; but the rest are Semitic, and it is inherently probable 
that any exclusiveness that may have prevailed at first eventually 
broke down, and that by the time of Nehemiah, although Ashdod 
may have preserved its speech, and although the name of Kereth 
and the Kerethim still persisted on the coast, the rest of Philistia 
spoke Semitic, and the people were indistinguishable from the 
Semites around them. On the other hand, we must not forget 
that the coast-land of Palestine was always exposed to strangers 
from the Mediterranean lands (see pp. 302 sq., 379). 

Certainly the place-names and the gods of the conquered 
country were taken over without objection by the conquerors. 
The same thing has recurred so far as place and river names are 
concerned, especially the latter, in Great Britain. And in the 
ancient world the gods of the land remained always the gods of 
the land. In the west they have become gnomes and kobolds, 
phucas, pixies and fairies. In Canaan the Philistine took over the 
Baal of Gaza, later identified with Zeus Kretagenes (V elchanos), 
the Baal-zebub of Ekron, the Astarte (Ashtoreth) of Beth-shean, 
the Derceto or Atargatis of Askalon (evidently identified with 
Dictynna or Britomartis), and the Dagon of Gaza and Ashdod, 
who was apparently a Semitic Canaanite god (see vol. 1, p. 232). 
Dagon was no importation of the sea-rovers from the west, though 
he may have been identified by them with their d>uos yepcov, 
Nereus or Triton, or the Poseidon of the lonians himself. 

R. A. S. Macalister has noted that temples of some size are first 
mentioned in the Bible in connection with the Philistines, and 
one might regard the temple as one of their foreign ideas which 
they brought into the land, but for the fact of the other and older 


influences of Babylon and Egypt. The present writer has observed 
that the theatre or rather the ‘theatral area,’ as Sir Arthur Evans 
calls it, which was so marked a feature of the palaces of Cnossus 
and Phaestus, seems to have been introduced by the Philistines, 
together with the gladiatorial games that took place in it, to judge 
from the biblical account of the exhibition of Samson in the 
temple of Gaza (Judg. xvi, 27): ‘Now the house was full of men 
and women ; and all the tyrants of the Philistines were there ; and 
there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, 
that beheld while Samson made sport.’ The passage almost gives 
one a shock, when one remembers the Cnossian fresco of the 
Cretan lords and ladies, with the crowds of men and women, 
intermixed in this un-Semitic wise that the Jewish writer em- 
phasizes purposely, represented, in summary outline, no doubt as 
looking on at the sports of the boxing and bull-grappling (ravpo- 
KaOaxplct). The suggestion has also been made that these brutal 
sports spread among the Hebrews, as when in 2 Sam. ii, 14, the 
young men arise to play before Abner and Joab : ‘and they caught 
every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s 
side: so that they fell down together.’ This is strongly reminiscent of 
the scenes on the famous ‘Boxer Vase’ from HagiaTriada in Crete 1 . 

On the whole, however, we find little trace of Philistine influ- 
ence in Hebrew religion or in other branch of culture. Various 
attempts have been made to discover Greek words in Hebrew 
which have come in through the Philistines, but they break down 
on the probability that the Philistines did not speak Greek, but 
Lycian or Carian. One can doubtfully regard seven ( sarn ), the 
title of the Philistine city-chiefs, as the same word as tyrant 
(rvpawos), only on the supposition — very probable in itself — 
that this word was borrowed from the older Aegean pre-Hellenic 
speech. Caphtor , meaning a crown or chaplet and so a pillar- 
capital, recalls caput, capital. But in the present state of our 
knowledge it is unwise to speculate upon connections between 
Hebrew, Aegean and other languages (see above, pp. 1 2 sqq., 
253). A word like pillegesh, ‘concubine’ pellex ), is 

obviously only a later loan-word. 

Political ideas in Palestine seem to have owed as little to 
the invaders, who do not appear to have contributed anything 
new to Semitic culture in this respect. Confederations of cities 
were no new thing in Syria; and we cannot say that the political 
organization of the Philistines is more distinctly reminiscent of 
Greek than of Semitic culture. They took over the Canaanite 
1 See Hall, Ancient History of Near East, p. 418. 


cities, apparently retaining their old names, and five of them 
(Gaza, Askalon, Gath, Ashdod and Ekron) formed an alliance 
or Pentapolis, as it would be called in Greece, each city under its 
own seren. There was no overlord, but apparently the seren of 
Gath, who is called ‘king,’ was president of the confederation. 
Two other towns were probably founded by the invaders them- 
selves: Ziklag (see p. 285), and Lydda (Ludd), which does not 
happen to be mentioned in the older Egyptian lists of Canaanite 
towns, and perhaps is the same name as the Cretan Lyttos, 
meaning ‘hill,’ or may be a settlement of Ludim from Lydia, 
though no Lydians are mentioned in the Egyptian record. 
Macalister instances Beth-car as possibly meaning ‘House of the 
Carian’: this may or may not be a re-naming. Other old native 
towns which were not members of the Pentapolis were also 
important Philistine centres, as Beth-shemesh, while Beth-shean, 
away in the Jordan valley, commanding the entrance to the plain 
of Esdraelon, was Philistine at the death of Saul (1 Sam. xxxi). 

The organization of the Philistine was a military one. They 
were hated invaders, uncircumcised foreigners, and they knew 
that their existence depended on the repression of the older 
inhabitants, so far as these had not moved out of their pale. We 
see what a strangle-hold they kept upon the hill-country of Judah 
and Israel until their power was broken by David. For the history 
we have to rely wholly upon the biblical narratives. From these 
it would seem that for a century the Philistines remained more or 
less quiescent in their newly-occupied territory, and their con- 
federated state gradually took form. Then came the period of 
warlike domination over southern Palestine between the battles 
of Ebenezer, when the Ark was captured in the days of Samuel, 
and David’s victory at Baal-perazim (2 Sam. v). Subsequently we 
have the appearance of the warriors of the Philistines and 
Cherethites as mercenary guards of the Jewish king, just as 
the Shardina had served Pharaoh in the past. Mercenary service 
was as characteristic of the tribes of southern and western Ana- 
tolia then as it was in later times: the Carian or Pisidian was the 
Swiss of ancient history. See below, p. 380 sq. 

During the period of Philistine ‘oppression,’ we are told, the 
conquered people was disarmed: ‘there was no smith found 
throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the 
Hebrews make them swords or spears’ (1 Sam. xiii, 19). This 
was a very remarkable precaution to take, and amid much that is 
difficult in the biblical narrative, we need not doubt the historical 
character of the statement. It is the more interesting because it 



probably means that the Hebrews were forbidden to forge any 
weapons of iron, not bronze. The use of iron was now making its 
way swiftly in the ancient world, and the edge of the iron weapon 
was being felt on the battlefield. The Palestinian and Syrian wars 
of the XVIIIth Dynasty had been fought by Egyptians and 
Syrians who used bronze weapons exclusively. In the time of 
Ramses II iron is beginning to appear in the armament of 
Egypt’s enemies. We can see that it is very probable that the 
dubious success of the Egyptians in their Hittite wars was at 
least partly due to the possession of the new and more efficient 
weapon by the northerners. The Egyptians were very desirous 
of acquiring iron, the lack of which considerably handicapped 
them. We find Ramses himself negotiating for iron with a Hittite 
king, who diplomatically puts him off with what was probably a 
lie, that there was no iron-working going on in Kissuwadna at the 
time (cf. pp. 272, 524). The Shardina, as mercenaries or enemies, 
still used bronze blades, as also did the Philistines at first. But at 
the time of the struggle with David we have traditions that their 
offensive armament was of iron. Goliath’s spearhead was of iron. 
The mention of iron might be regarded as an interpolation, but it 
is probable enough that by the beginning of the tenth century b.c. 
their bronze weapons had finally given way to iron. Meanwhile, 
it would be an obvious precaution on their part to prevent the 
Israelites from forging weapons of the new and dangerous metal. 
Defensive armour was still of bronze. 

It has often been noted how European was the armour of 
Goliath, with its helmet and scale-cuirass of bronze, and, especially, 
the greaves of bronze (yaXKOK^'/i.tSes), things entirely unknown 
to the Egyptian or Syrian warrior, and specifically Greek. De 
Rouge thought that he had discovered greaves in the description 
of the Akaiwasha, which would have been a notable discovery: 
they would indeed have been ‘ well-greaved Achaeans’ (ivKpyjfuSes 
’A x<uot). But the Egyptian word in question properly means a kind 
of knife or razor. The Philistine however was greaved, and in this 
connection there is great interest in the pair of bronze greaves of 
about this period (about twelfth-tenth century b.c.), the oldest 
Greek greaves known, that were found at Enkomi in Cyprus. 
Goliath, indeed, must have been conceived as looking very like 
the griffin-slaying Arimaspian on the ivory mirror-handle from 
Enkomi, whose dress is absolutely that of the Shardina and 
Pulesati of the Egyptian monuments (p. 278). The shield is not 
mentioned, but we can imagine it ‘ like a tower’ (f/vre tt vpyo?), com- 
pleting the Homeric picture. There is no doubt that the armoured 


warrior from the west impressed his memory indelibly on the 
minds of the Hebrews. 

In a word, the Philistine is a curious parallel to the mailed 
western crusader of later times; but in spite of their prowess the 
East vanquished them both, and the defeat of western dominion 
at the Horns of Hattin in 1187 a.d. was in this respect an in- 
evitable repetition of Baal-perazim. 

Actual relics, other than pottery, of the stay of these exotic 
conquerors of early days are not many in Syria and Palestine, 
An important find has been made in the Lebanon, by C, L. 
Woolley, of late-Mycenaean graves with pottery which can only 
be regarded as relics of the occupation of Amor of which the 
Egyptian records speak (p. 174). It has also been supposed that 
the camps of Mishrlfeh, near Homs, and Tell Seflnet Nuh are 
those of the Philistines and their allies ‘in the midst of Amor.’ 
It has been objected that such camps were entirely foreign to 
Anatolians and Aegeans, and that the theory of these being 
Philistine is quite impossible. But there is no proof whatever that 
camps of the kind were not as well known to Anatolians and 
Aegeans as to Syrians. A much more valid argument is that the 
Philistines and their allies hardly maintained themselves long 
enough in central Syria to be able to build such camps. We may 
be well advised, therefore, in not claiming them as actual relics 
of the Philistines, though of course they may have been occupied 
by them on their way south 1 . 

In the south there are signs of Aegean architecture in certain 
buildings at Gezer and at Tell es-Safl (Gath), which have the 
characteristic Cretan light-well. The supposed Philistine graves 
discovered by Macalister at Gezer are, in all probability, 
Philistine, but of a comparatively late period. It seems difficult 
to date them earlier than about 800 b.c. The foreign burial 
customs were evidently still kept up. It is remarkable that so few 
traces of definitely Aegean burials have been found. One reason 
probably is that the Philistines largely burnt their dead, following 
the new northern custom that had come in with the Age of Iron. 
Their pottery is of the late or sub-Mycenaean type associated in 
Greece with incineration. 

The most important relic of the foreign domination is the 
quantity of this native-made pottery, imitating the Mycenaean, 

1 There seems to be no particular reason for supposing these camps to be 
of Hyksos origin, or anything else but native Syrian or Hittite (Anatolian), 
unless, of course, as is probable enough, the Hyksos were themselves simply 
North Syrians in the main. 


that has been found at Gezer, Tell es-Safl, c Ain Shems (Beth- 
shemesh) and Askalon 1 . Much imported Minoan, Mycenaean, 
and Cyprian pottery has also been found, dating mostly from the 
pre-Philistine period. This need not, and in the case of the 
Minoan ware obviously does not, belong to the Philistines, but 
could be imported by the Canaanites as it was by the Egyptians. 
During the period of occupation it no doubt was also imported 
by the Philistines. But the local imitation of Mycenaean pottery 
stands on a different footing. It is evidently the manufacture of a 
population accustomed to pottery of Aegean shape and decora- 
tion, and desirous of continuing its own style. This ‘sub- 
Mycenaean’ ware, which we may call definitely Philistine, is very 
characteristic of the town-strata of this period, and may be dated 
about 1200-1000 b . c . We find close parallels to its decoration 
and form in the latest Mycenaean ceramic styles from Palaikastro, 
near Zakro, at the eastern end of Crete. This is perhaps significant, 
if the Zakaray came thence (p. 284 n.), and if the Philistines were 
in eastern Crete before they passed on eastwards. Similar ware 
has also been found in Crete at Phaestus, in Cyprus, at Assarlik 
in Caria, in the island of Calymnus and elsewhere, with the same 
characteristic late-Mycenaean ‘bird’ and ‘metope’ motives of 
decoration, and of the same forms. In Greece this latest Mycena- 
ean ware is already associated with the use of iron and the practice 
of burning the dead. 

We are, therefore, entirely justified, on grounds of tradition 
and of archaeological discovery, in regarding the Philistines as 

1 Unfortunately, before the foreign origin of this local pottery was 
realized, Bliss and Macalister had described it in Excavations in Palestine 
as ‘Palestinian’ of the pre-Israelite period, and in Gezer Macalister still 
(1912) speaks of it as belonging to the ‘Second Semitic period.’ This am- 
biguous term does not, however, mean that he conceives it as made by 
Semites; he recognizes its Mycenaean character. The pottery in Excavations , 
plates 35—44, and Gezer, plate clxii, for instance, is ordinary late-Mycenaean. 
The coloured plate, Gezer , no. clxiii, shows the distinction between the 
sub-Mycenaean ‘Philistine’ and the native ‘Amorite’ styles, which are 
both represented. Dr Duncan Mackenzie, in his reports on Beth-shemesh, 
definitely settled the status of this ware as Philistine, and Prof. Macalister 
agrees (The Philistines , p. 122). This pottery, indeed, would by itself be 
sufficient to prove the Aegean origin of the Philistines. It is difficult to 
connect the Philistine pottery with the Achaean (Phythian-Adams, Jeru- 
salem School of Archaeology, Bulletin 3, 1923) without considering first 
other possible relationships, and the direct derivation of the Philistines from 
the Balkan-Danubian region with the Achaeans (ib.) finds a difficulty in 
the appearance of Philistines on the Phaestus disk in the Middle Minoan 
period, not later than 1600 b . c . 


Mediterraneans of Lycian-Carian origin, who passed, very pos- 
sibly after a temporary occupation of eastern Crete, along the 
Asia Minor coast as part of a regular folk-wandering caused by 
the Phrygian invasion, till they reached Palestine, where, after 
their defeat at the hands of Ramses III, they settled In the 
historical Philistia. 

The latest mention In any Egyptian record of the Peoples of 
the Sea, as such, is that of the settlement of Zakaray at Dor, in 
the report of Wenamon (p. 192). In all probability, however, the 
Philistine name occurs later as the Egyptian equivalent of HaXae- 
crTLvrj (= Philistia) as in the inscription of Petisis, ‘messenger 
to Canaan and Pulesati* under the XXVIth Dynasty (probably 
in the reign of Apries or Amasis), which is now in a French private 
collection 1 . Here we have the old name of the Purasati or Pulesati 
used as the definite name of part of Palestine: the Egyptians them- 
selves thus testify that the Philistines were the Purasati and that 
the name of Palestine is derived from that of this wandering tribe 
from the Aegean. 

1 M. Chassinat, the original publisher of this inscription in Bull \ Inst . 
Fr. Gaire , 1 (1901), pp. 98—100, was in error in dating it to the time of 
Shishak and the XXIInd Dynasty. Its Saite date is obvious from the name 
Petisis, and from its style and that of the figure on which it is cut. The only 
question is whether the name P-r-s-t in it does not refer to Persia, rather 
than to Philistia, and whether its spelling has not been contaminated by the 
resemblance in hieroglyphs to the old name of Purasati (see Hall, in Melanges 
Champollion, 1922, p. 325, n. 3). But it is more probable that the old name 
is actually meant, and was no doubt in general use for Philistia, Kanana 
(Canaan) meaning the inland country of Judah and Israel. 



npHE history of Syria and Palestine during the sixteenth to 
_ 1 eleventh centuries is very largely that of the great surround- 
ing powers whose fortunes have already been described. It is not 
until we approach the last quarter of the second millennium b.c. 
that external conditions favour the rise of those independent 
states which become known to us as Damascus, Israel, Judah, 
Moab, Edom, etc. But our knowledge of these lands is frag- 
mentary and uncertain; for, although the Old Testament contains 
the Israelites’ own views of the past, any account of the internal 
conditions must be based upon the ‘external’ sources. Old ideas of 
Egypt and south-west Asia have been revolutionized, partly by 
the Amarna letters (p. 128) and the cuneiform tablets found at 
Boghaz Keui (p. 253), and partly by the results of excavation in 
Palestine and Syria (vol. x, pp. 1 30-1 34). In the ‘tells’ of Syria 
and Palestine — still only very slightly examined — there is material 
so extensive and so significant that any attempt to describe these 
lands must be made only with the utmost caution. However, 
there is already a considerable amount of evidence, direct and 
indirect, from the ‘tells,’ and from Egyptian, Babylonian, Hittite 
and other sources,, and it permits us to supplement what has been 
said in the foregoing chapters, and to secure a starting-point for 
the investigation of other and far from contemporary sources (viz. 
in the Old Testament). 

1 When Egypt expelled the Hyksos the early interrelations 
already illustrated in the Romance of Sinuhe (vol. 1, p. 227 sq.) 
were renewed with increased ‘vigour, and Syria and Palestine 
. came more or less continuously within the ambit of Egyptian 
politics. South Palestine and the Sinaitic peninsula tended to 
gravitate towards Egypt; and a strong Egypt always exerted 
influence eastwards of the Delta. In the north, however, the 
-’ency was .towards Syria, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor; and 
neral historical situation has much in common with that, 
later, when Egypt contended with Assyria and Ptolemies 
ucids to possess the same debatable country. The 

chap. XIII, i] THE ‘AM ARN A’ AGE 297 

physical characteristics of the area have already been described 
(p. 55 sq.). The issue lay between a powerful Egypt struggling, 
from the time of Thutmose I onward, to extend her power into 
south-western Asia, and movements from the north, sweeping 
down, and endeavouring to maintain themselves, not in Egypt 
itself, as did the Hyksos, but at the very gates of Egypt. On the 
whole, Egypt found it not too difficult to seize Palestine and south 
Syria; and then her armies could even be safely transferred to 
Phoenician ports, as a base for the more serious struggles in the 
Phoenician hinterland and north Syria. Here, in the district of 
Kadesh on the Orontes (see pp. 56 sq., 74 sql), and farther north, 
towards Mitanni (pp. 58, 67), Egypt faced more strenuous foes, 
and encountered powerful coalitions which, indeed, in the time 
of Thutmose III, once reached as far south as Megiddo. North 
Syria, with its central position, its native wealth, and its trading 
intercourse, was the natural link between Egypt, Asia Minor, and 
Assyria and Babylonia; it was a gateway, a land to be secured as 
the starting-point for attack; and the fact that Mitanni was also 
a buffer-state gives it special importance during the period now 
under survey (cf. pp. 67, 230, 264). 


The letters from Amarna and Boghaz Keui reveal an inter- 
nationalism, even a certain cosmopolitanism, the extent of which 
is still only imperfectly known (cf. above, pp. 94, 23 1). The great 
powers were in constant communication: they wrote to one 
another as ‘brothers,’ they mourned deaths, and they announced 
or congratulated new accessions. They made elaborate defensive 
and offensive alliances, and sealed them by intermarriages, taking 
care, where necessary, to safeguard the position of their married 
daughters. As occasion demanded, a famous physician would 
be sent, or a divining-priest, and once, indeed, a renowned 
builder. Rich presents were given, and boldly demanded — Egypt 
was notoriously rich in gold — and a letter without a present could 
be almost a diplomatic incident. They closely scrutinized the 
quality of the gifts and took notice of the treatment of the mes- 
sengers — some of whom were veritable ambassadors; they kept 
a jealous eye, too, upon the frequency of these visits, and saw that 
they were made with proper state. Thus, the Babylonian king 
Burnaburiash (Burraburiash) found it disgraceful that Amen- 
hotep IV (Ikhnaton) sent only five chariots to conduct his daughter 
to Egypt. The messengers and caravans, passing to and fro, 


demanded regular routes, and it was frequently necessary to 
protect them from unruly clans or lawless desert-tribes. Attacks 
upon caravans were likely to hinder regular intercourse, and 
therefore friendly relations. Hence an armed escort might be 
necessary (cf. also Ezr. viii, 21 sq.). Trading-relations along the 
routes would generate a certain political cohesion; but the paths 
of peace were also those of war, and important trading-tribes 
might also be dangerous raiders (cf. Midian, Gen. xxxvii, Judg. 
vi, sqq.). Caravan-leaders readily became men of considerable 
authority — Mohammed himself was one — and the more im- 
portant trading-posts could form nuclei of a far-reaching ‘ empire,’ 
as, e.g ., when the oasis of Palmyra in the third century a. d. could 
exert influence into Egypt and west Asia Minor, and stand up 
against Rome herself. 

The importance of Ikhnaton’s city of Amarna and of the 
Amarna letters entitles us to speak of the ‘Amarna Age’ as a 
well-defined landmark. The letters belong to the last years of 
Amenhotep III, and to the reign of at least one of his successors; 
very few actually name the king, or contain unambiguous indica- 
tions of date. They paint a picture of profound dissension in 
Syria — the term may be conveniently used to include Palestine 
— not indeed such as that which Thutmose III knew how to 
exploit, when he undertook his grand series of Asiatic cam- 
paigns, but one between men loyal to Egypt, and nationalist 
anti-Egyptian sections. Brothers were divided, chiefs freely im- 
peached one another; they professed the utmost loyalty, but easily 
changed sides. As the letters themselves are frequently of un- 
certain sequence and difficult to interpret, it is often impossible 
for us to sketch the precise course of events. Even for Egypt 
herself, with a court at which the rival chieftains had their own 
wire-pullers, the winnowing of the conflicting assurances and 
inconsistent reports was probably hardly less troublesome than it 
is for the modern historian. 

Egypt, too, was weakened by religious and political differences, 
at least in the time of Ikhnaton (p. 126 sq.)\ and if her attitude 
towards the rival chieftains of Syria sometimes seems inexplicable 
to us, it is to be borne in mind that even in more modern times 
civilized powers have officially recognized bandit chiefs, and have 
allowed the desert nomads to levy blackmail upon the peasantry. 
The scenes of the troubles can be traced along the Phoenician 
coast, and in Amor, and on lines running down the trade-routes 
to Jerusalem and Gaza. The chiefs themselves were divided, but 
the people as a whole readily tended to be anti-Egyptian. Warring 


hordes were seizing the townships and land with the con- 
nivance of or under the leadership of disloyal chiefs (see above, 
pp. 107, 123). They include Aramaean nomads (Akhlamu, Sutu), 
but are mostly known as Sa.Gaz (‘robbers’): Abdi-Khiba of 
Jerusalem styles them Khabiru (Habiru, i.e. Hebrews ?). Although 
we meet with a number of genuine Semitic names (e.g. the 
Amorite rebel chiefs Abd-Ashirta and Aziru), from the extreme 
north to the south there is a remarkable prominence of non- 
Semitic names; they point to the earlier presence and influence 
of ruling classes from Mitannian, Hittite and other districts. 
In fact, in the north the Hittites, if not also some at least of the 
Mitannians, were involved in the anti-Egyptian intrigues, and 
subsequent events would show that a new attempt was being 
made from the north to capture Syria. At the same time, the part 
played by the Sa.Gaz , or Habiru, and the indications of unrest 
among the Sutu, Akhlamu and other peoples of the Mesopo- 
tamian desert, point to large movements in which nomad tribes 
participated, and not improbably with results significant for the 
internal constitution of Palestine (see pp. 108, 135, and below, 
p. 369). 

The Amarna and Boghaz Keui tablets enable us to see some- 
thing of the new prominence of the Hittite power (Hatti) — on 
the name, see p. 2 32 — and the decline of Mitanni. Hattushil of 
Kussar (the classical Garsaiira) had laid the foundations of the 
Hatti empire at the expense of the once powerful Halab (Aleppo), 
Kissuwadna (? Cilicia, p. 272), Ishuwa, and other districts. This 
his son Shubbiluliuma (? 1410-1370) proceeded to consolidate, 
thereby threatening Mitanni, whose king Tushratta twice ‘mag- 
nified himself’ against him, a presumption which ultimately led 
to the downfall of the old buffer-state. The land of Mitanni very 
closely corresponded to the Naharin and the Hanigalbat of 
Egyptian and Assyrian sources respectively; it was distinct from 
Carchemish, Aleppo, Arzawa, Nukhashshi, but closely connected 
with the Harri, who had their own language (p. 260). The exact 
connotation of many of the names has not been finally deter- 
mined; but it is evident that the greater kingdoms were built up 
at the cost of smaller ones, which were often at bitter enmity with 
each other. Mitanni, in fact, had grown up at the expense of its 
two neighbours, Alshe and Assyria (pp. 230, 237), and both of 
them were preparing to profit from her misfortunes. 

The relations among these greater and lesser states varied 
from time to time, and naturally affected Amor (which in due 
course came under the influence of Hatti), and no doubt also 




Palestine (p. 262 sq.). Mitanni had apparently enjoyed stability 
under its kings, Shaushshatar, Artatama and Shuttarna. With Egypt 
it felt itself on an equality. Tushratta’s aunt had been married to 
Thutmose IV, perhaps to confirm the peace with Thutmose III, 
who indeed claims to have overthrown Mitanni. Mutemuya 
(only her Egyptian name is known, see p. 92) became the 
mother of Amenhotep III, who took Tushratta’s sister Gilukhipa, 
though not as his chief wife. Tushratta himself came to the throne 
after a rising; his brother, Artashumara, had been slain by an 
anti-Egyptian party under Par-khi (or Tu-khi), and for a time 
Hatti influence prevailed. However, Tushratta slew the murderers, 
and at once sent messengers to Egypt to resume the friendly 
relations which Amenhotep III had had with his father Shuttarna. 
Hatti was quick to recognize the altered situation, and Shubbi- 
luliuma made a razzia against the presumptuous king. In one 
of his letters Tushratta was able to inform Amenhotep that his 
god Teshub had given the Hatti into his hand, and he sent, of 
the booty, chariots and horses for his ‘brother’ the king, and 
ornaments and ointments for Gilukhipa. He entreated the king’s 
recognition, and arrangements were made to send his daughter 
Tadukhipa to the harem, she having first been duly inspected by 
an Egyptian envoy. After no little haggling over the gold de- 
manded from Egypt — partly as the price for the maiden, partly 
for some private work upon which he was engaged — the alliance 
was cemented between Egypt and ‘Hanigalbat’ (p. 95). Accord- 
ing to one of the letters, the goddess Ishtar, ‘lady of heaven,’ 
who had been sent to Egypt in the days of his father Shuttarna, 
now announced her intention, ‘to Egypt the land which I love 
will I go’; but we cannot determine whether it was to bless the 
nuptial ceremony, or for a later event. The letter in question is 
marked by an Egyptian registrar as belonging to the thirty-sixth 
year, and as this would be the year of the death of Amenhotep III, 
the young widow soon became the wife of Amenhotep I V(Ikhnaton) . 

The death had important consequences. The queen-dowager 
was Tiy (p. 106), who, if not of Asiatic origin, as some authorities 
have thought, was the daughter of a man who had been a prince 
of Zahi (the Lebanon district and Phoenicia). She took a very 
prominent part in the correspondence between Egypt and Mi- 
tanni, and at once begged the Mitannian envoy Gilia to remind 
Tushratta of the old friendship between her dead husband and 
Shuttarna. It was now for Tushratta to maintain with the son 
the alliance he had had with the father; and to strengthen the 
relations he asked for an interchange of messengers between Tiy 


and his wife Yuni. But the results scarcely proved satisfactory. 
Ikhnaton did not send the expected gifts, or at least only inferior 
ones; Mitannian envoys were detained in Egypt, and there are 
references to intrigues. The king of Egypt has to be told to apply 
to Tiy for confirmation of his father’s friendship with Tushratta, 
and is besought to maintain this friendship, and not listen to 
anyone else. The position of Mitanni seems to have weakened. 
Meanwhile, Ashur-uballit, king of Assyria, in a letter to Ikhnaton, 
manifested some jealousy at that king’s more favourable attitude 
to the ‘ Hanigalbatian king,’ as he calls him. The Babylonian 
Burraburiash even alludes to Tiy in terms of dissatisfaction; and 
in a letter of Kadashman-Kharbe (Letter 1, 3 8) the name Hani- 
galbat was almost a synonym of contempt. Burraburiash, too, 
impressed upon Ikhnaton the loyalty of his father Kurigalzu, 
when Canaanite princelets had sought to gain him on their side 
against Egypt, and rather pointedly claimed the Assyrians as his 
vassals (p. 94). And amid all this, the king of Alashiya (cf. Alshe 
above), writing as an equal — apparently to Ikhnaton — warned 
him against dealings with Hatti and Shankhar (? Mitanni or 
neighbourhood). Finally, Shubbiluliuma himself, in a letter to the 
young ruler, renewed the friendship he had had with his father, 
meanwhile requesting certain golden images which were due to him 
from the latter; but of earlier relations with Egypt he says nothing, 
nor do we know how Ikhnaton replied to the Hittite king who 
was now troubling his northern frontier. See p.121 sq. 

As already mentioned, Tushratta had beaten off the first raid 
of Shubbiluliuma. On a second raid the Hatti king was met with 
a threat of reprisals by Tushratta, who claimed the land east of 
the Euphrates. This he could not tolerate. Ishuwa and other 
lands he conquered and restored to the realm of Hatti; he entered 
Alshe, and Tushratta marched out against him, but refrained 
from fighting. Aleppo (Khalpa) was overpowered, Takuwa of Nia 
(Niy) submitted, but his brother Akit-Teshub held out with the 
Marianni (nobles ?), and with Katna and other cities. Nukhashshi 
was invaded, and its king, Sharrupshi, having escaped, Takib- 
sharri, ‘the king’s servant,’ was set up in his place. Kinza (see 
p. 262 sq.) would have been left alone, but Shutatarra with his son, 
Aitakkama, challenged him, only to be captured. For a year the 
Hatti ravaged the land; and ultimately Biashshi-ilish, the son of 
Shubbiluliuma was placed in charge of the districts recovered: 
Mt Niblani, Ashtati, etc. The fate of Mitanni lay in the 
balance. Tushratta was slain in a household intrigue headed by 
his son Artatama, whose son Shutatarra (or Shuttarna) became 


king of the Harri, burned the royal palace and freely bribed 
Alshe and Assyria. Akit-Teshub and his Marianni were allied 
with the Harri, and Shubbiluliuma was alarmed at the unex- 
pected development. His son and Mattiuaza (another son of 
Tushratta) joined forces and marched against Irrite, beyond Car- 
chemish, which Shuttarna had won over. Mitanni was saved, 
though only to become vassal of the Hatti (see pp. 122, 238, 268). 
Rather than see Mitanni fall to pieces between Assyria and Alshe, 
the Hatti king was acute enough to support Mattiuaza; and a 
detailed treaty was concluded between the great king and his 
vassal. It was cemented by Mattiuaza’ s marriage with the king’s 
daughter, who was to rule as queen, no second wife being allowed 
— though ten women or concubines are specified. It was also 
stipulated that the alliance should be maintained with Biashshi- 
ilish. Mitanni thus came under the suzerainty of the Hatti, and 
the same is also true of Amor, whose king Azira (i.e. Aziru), after 
turning from Shubbiluliuma to the king of Egypt (Ikhnaton), 
returned, and had the ancestral boundaries of Amor confirmed 
under a treaty which lasted through the reigns of the next Hatti 
kings, Murshil and Hattushil (see p. 318 sq). 

All these changes, and in particular the new might of Hatti, 
affected the princes and petty chiefs of Syria, whose letters in the 
Amarna archives represent, naturally enough, their own, and 
often a strikingly local view of affairs. These letters can be divided 
into two series, the one associated with Abd-Ashirta (or Ashirat) 
and his sons, the foremost of whom was Aziru, and the other 
with Aziru alone and with Itakama, probably the son of Shutatarra 
mentioned above. The former series concerns mainly the Amorite 
attack on Phoenicia, and the latter the movement against the 
interior, extending as far south as Jerusalem and beyond. 


The history of the Phoenician coast-towns is that of the 
trading-ports from Simyra to Accho (Ptolemais). These were fed 
by caravans from the interior — later, Aramaean and Arabian, 
earlier, probably Amorite — and sent out their fleets along the 
Mediterranean (p. 57 sq). But sea-power was hardly as yet in 
their hands: the colonies for which the Phoenicians became famous 
— as distinct from trading-posts and the like — scarcely became 
prominent in this period. Sea-power often changed hands in 
ancient times, and now lay with Aegeans and Egyptians (pp. 
278, 441). A medley of peoples, Libyan and other, living along 



XIII, xx] 


the Mediterranean litoral and in the ‘ Isles of the Sea,’ were thus 
brought into trading relations with one another, and in this, as in 
other periods, filled the ranks of mercenaries, sailors, traders and 
pirates. The population of the exposed coast-towns of the Levant 
was naturally a mixed one : such towns were often able to influence 
the history and culture of the inland. Now, the latter part of the 
second millennium b.c. is marked by some great concerted anti- 
Egyptian movements by sea and land of outstanding importance 
for the history of Syria. In one, now under consideration, the Hatti 
were prominent, and the consequences led to the increase of Hatti 
power. Another marks the decay of Hatti, and is associated with 
the appearance of the Philistines, and their hegemony in Palestine 
before the rise of the Israelite monarchy. Both movements were 
doubtless part of larger events in the Levant and in west Asia 
Minor; and in the second of them the historical kernel of the siege 
of Troy poems may well have been but an incident (cf. p. 547). 

The Amarna letters take us at once into the midst of the first 
of the movements, and we witness the conflict between the 
Amorite leaders, Abd-Ashirta and his sons, on the one side, and 
Rib-Addi of Gebal (Byblus), on the other. This ancient city, long 
known to Egypt, and claiming for herself an importance equal 
to that of Memphis, was held by a man whose numerous letters 
(over fifty in number) vividly depict one type, at least, of Semitic 
character in the fourteenth century b.c. Apparently they date 
from the last years of Amenhotep III and the opening years of 
Ikhnaton; and they present an extraordinary picture of successful 
intrigue by the Amorite chiefs who, while continuously protesting 
their loyalty to Egypt, are condemned by Rib-Addi and other loyal 
chiefs (Tyre, Sidon, etc.) for their attacks upon towns which sub- 
mit to the Egyptian suzerainty. Rib-Addi himself holds Byblus 
and a portion of the interioi*, and claims some authority over the 
coast-line as far as the great and important rival town of Simyra, 
which is to be found north of Tripolis, rather than at Botrys. 
But Byblus, once protected by Egypt, and still consistently loyal, 
is now beset by land and sea. The Amorites steadily extend their 
sway over the whole hinterland . , even as in the eighth century b.c., 
the important inland city of Hamath included in its kingdom 
Simyra and other coast-towns. In this way they not only cut off 
the trade of Byblus but, seizing the northern ports, sent wood, 
copper and other articles direct to Egypt, thereby greatly enriching 
themselves. Consequently, Byblus became impoverished, and 
suffered from starvation; people were sold, and houses stripped 
of their woodwork in order to buy food from the land of Yarimuta, 


the while Abd-Ashirta used his corn with increasing success to 
buy over the towns (cf. p. 123 sq). 

Since the day the father of the Egyptian king left Sidon, so 
Rib-Addi reported to Egypt, the people, starving and disaffected, 
had gone over, city after city, to the Sa.Gaz. Abd-Ashirta, ‘the 
dog,’ had seized Simyra and was steadily becoming stronger. 
But Rib-Addi’s appeals fell on deaf ears, and he found the in- 
difference of Egypt inexplicable. Loyal chieftains were wavering, 
and Rib-Addi hinted at deserting. Repeatedly he prayed for small 
detachments of Sherden, or of troops from Melukhkha or from 
Kash (Nubia), to stiffen the faint-hearted garrisons and encourage 
the hesitating populace. Aduna of Irkata (Arka) — where the road 
led to the Orontes valley — and the chiefs of other cities were 
taken by treacherous mercenaries, and the rest were fearing 
the same fate. On the other hand, Abd-Ashirta, in his own 
letters, professed himself the king’s servant and house-dog; the 
king himself had set him over Amor, and he guarded the land 
for the king, though with difficulty, owing to invaders (? the 
Harri, Letter lx, 14) who threaten to despoil him. In a letter 
to the Egyptian prefect Pakhanate, defending himself against his 
opponents, he explained that Shekhlal mercenaries ( ? from Saga- 
lassus in Pisidia) had seized Simyra (? for Rib-Addi), and killed 
the nobles of the palace; but that, hurrying from Irkata, he had 
succeeded in saving four of them. Throughout, the letters from 
the contending parties are equally plausible. 

Meanwhile, Rib-Addi’s list of lost cities grows. The case of 
Botrys (south of Tripolis) is typical. A messenger, sent with a 
letter of appeal to the king, returns with empty hands; the town 
at once revolts, though, as Rib-Addi tells Aman-appa, the king’s 
officer, if the king would only send 300 men the city could be 
recaptured and the situation saved. But, unluckily for him, Rib- 
Addi has enemies at court, and Abd-Ashirta is kept acquainted 
with all that happens, and is the more audacious. Rib-Addi then 
tried an appeal to the king’s amour-propre. All the royal lands as 
far as Egypt will join the Sa.Gaz — ‘Wherefore hast thou held 
back and thy land has been taken? Let it not be said: “In the 
days of the regents the Gaz (i.e. the Sa.Gaz ) took all lands.” Let 
it not likewise be said in the days to come: “And thou canst not 
take it!” Further, I have sent for the men of the garrison and 
for horses, and they are not given. Send back word unto me, or, 
like Yapa-Addi and Zimrida, I will make an alliance with Abd- 
Ashirta; then should I be saved alive. . . . Further, if thou hast not 
sent back word unto me then will I abandon the city and fall 


away together with the men that love me. ’ Still the king sent no help ; 
and the Amorite called upon his forces to assemble against Byblus 
at Beth-Ninurta. The position became more critical. In letters to 
both the king and to the ever-faithful Aman-appa he reported an 
attempt on his life by one of the Sherden mercenaries; ‘he was 
wounded nine times, but killed the miscreant; a second time he 
may not escape!' In a special appeal he suggested that the king 
might buy off the Amorite — he names the sum: a thousand manas 
of silver and one hundred of gold. His sister and her children he 
sent to Tyre, but the city deserted to the rebels; and they and 
the regent, whom he had won over with a gift of copper, were 
slain. The chief of Sidon, Zimrida, was likewise in league with 
the Amorite; and to add to all this was the grievance that Zurata 
of Accho was being more favourably received at court, and had 
obtained troops for the defence of his own city. 

At last the letters to the king and the more outspoken reports 
to Aman-appa were fruitful. The latter came with a small force 
and recovered Simyra. Abd-Ashirta fell ill and was killed. The 
city of Arvad (Aradus) is inculpated by an unknown corre- 
spondent, who points out that the Amorite himself had been 
recognized by the king. But Abd-Ashirta’s place was at once 
taken by his son Aziru. His first step was to aim at Simyra, and 
the scenes that follow very closely recall those when Abd-Ashirta 
was the moving spirit. Once more by intrigue and treason city 
after city falls, and Rib-Addi soon finds himself cut off from the 
lands of Zalkhi ( ? north Syria), and from Ugarit, and is unable 
to export the wood which Egypt requires. More than ever is the 
unfortunate regent a marked man. The food-situation again grew 
worse, Aziru stole the cattle, and the people fled elsewhere to find 
food. Messengers were sent to the grain-stores of Yarimuta, which 
were under the powerful Yankhamu; and although food was sent 
at the royal command, it was held up by Yapa-Addi, an implacable 
enemy, with whom the chief of Byblus had a couple of serious 
law-suits touching some stolen ships and goods. Even Yan- 
khamu’s loyalty to Egypt was doubtful (xcvm). 

A change in the tone of the royal letters suggests that mean- 
while there was a new king in Egypt — Ikhnaton. Thus, Rib- 
Addi pointedly reminds the king that the gods, the Sun-god, and 
the lady (Baalath), of Gebal have put him on his throne. The 
king, for his part, manifests a certain querulousness: why does 
Rib-Addi write so much ? why does he complain more than his 
brethren about the hostility? But Rib-Addi bewails the changed 
times. ‘ Once at the sight of an Egyptian the kings of Canaan fled 




from before him, but now, the sons of Abd-Ashirta. despise the 
people of Egypt and threaten me with their bloody weapons. 
Again, “hef Abd-Ashirta formerly came out against me I was 
mfghty* and behold 1 now my people are shattered, and I am 
3 - 'Formerly,' says he, 'when Abd-Ashirta took Simyra, I 
nrottited the ciy alone'; but now the capture of Simyra by 
Aziru has broken the back of the opposition. It was i the i old story 
of intrigue by Egyptian traitors. The sons of Abd-Ashirta Had 
intrigueci with the citizens and the Egyptian officer m charge; 
Ullaza, Ardata and other cities were soon m their hands. T e 
pressure was heavy by land and sea, and troops for the help of 
Rib-Addi were coolly handed over to Suri (Mitanm); althoug as 


togrtherwithf*e^Ara ^ followed by anti-Egyptian outbreaks 

in Byblus; and Rib-Addi, after being repeatedly told to protect 
himself, now found himself charged with killing some of the 
royal troops. Pakhura, the Egyptian, whose help he had expected, 
played the traitor: his troops killed Rib-Addi s Sherden me - 
cenaries and the city generally was confused and embittered. 
Abimilki of Tyre strongly supported Rib-Addi, but tam- 
pered by the hostility of his dangerous rival Sidon. Sidon, he 
informed the king, was collecting ships and men, and Zimrida 
the chief of Sidon, had helped in Aziru s seizure of Simyra. The 
island was cut off from drinking-water (which came from 
mainland in boats), from wood, and also from ^ bumkgrounds 
for even Uzu (Palaetyrus) was in the hands of the enemy. Some 
isolated letters from Tyre and Ammumra of Beirut indicate that 
troops from Egypt were on the way; but the precise date of this 
intervention cannot be determined, whether after the first or t e 

Beirut that Rtb-Addi fled in despair. 
Ten hours after his arrival he sent his son to the court, but four 
months elapsed before he gained an audience. At last, in tw 
lengthy, moving and well-constructed pieces of composition 
probably the laft of the long series-he gives a rapid resume ■ of 
recent events. The fall of Simyra had indeed been the last straw 
He himself was old and ill; the gods had turned against him, a 
he had confessed his sins. Byblus was rent m two. His wift : and 
household urged him to surrender, and his younger broth 
headed the anti-Egyptian faction. In vam he tried to put down 
the revolt, until the people cried: ‘How long can we withstan 



the sons of Abd-Ashirta? Our silver is given to the foe; how 
long wilt thou continue to kill us?’ So he fled, and, once outside, 
was prevented from re-entering, and was given out for dead. 
His wives and sons were handed over to Aziru. But even Beirut 
was being threatened — although Rib-Addi was not without hope 
of rescue, if only the king had ‘another heart.’ He himself had 
still some followers. The temples of Byblus were still rich, and the 
rebellious city was not so powerful as to be able to withstand 
the king’s forces. And should men say there is no food for the 
troops — well, it can be had in the other cities! So the old chief 
made his plea, breathing loyalty to the last — 1 and (when) I indeed 
am dead, and my sons, servants of the king, do live, and they 
write to the king: “give us back our city,” why hath my lord 
withheld himself from me?’ Thus was Byblus to find Egypt, as 
the Israelites did in their day, a bruised reed and a vain help; 
and it is significant that a couple of centuries later, when Wen- 
amon paid his famous visit, its king Zakar-baal had the scantiest 
respect for the authority of the Nile empire (p. 192). 

The sequel is disclosed in an important letter from the king 
of Egypt to Aziru, ‘the man of Amor.’ The unfortunate Rib-Addi, 
it seems, at length found himself in Sidon, and fell into the 
hands of Aziru, who handed him over to his brother-chieftains. 
His fate is not stated. At least the king condemns Aziru; 
although he obviously feels that Amor was too powerful and 
Aziru too crafty; and the letter is an illuminating example of 
hesitating diplomacy. He had heard that Aziru and ‘the man 
of Kidsha (Kadesh),’ i.e. Itakama, had had a covenant-meal 
together. This he deprecates: ‘If thou doest service for thy lord 
the king, what then is there that the king will not do for thee? 
If thou for any cause longest to do evil, or if thou settest evil, 
even words of hatred, in thine heart, then wilt thou die, together 
with all thy family, by the axe of the king. Then do service for 
thy lord the king and thou art (saved) alive, and know thou that 
the king desireth not that the whole land of Canaan should be 
in turmoil 1 .’ 

Aziru, summoned to the king, submissively appealed to Dudu, 
who was at the court, beseeching him to protect him from the 
slander of those who, as we know from Rib-Addi’s letters, re- 

1 No. clxii, 32-41. The last words may otherwise mean that the king 
will allow Aziru freedom if only he will be obedient, as ‘the whole land of 
Canaan is too extensive’ for him to reign over it himself (see Knudtzon, 
p. 1268). Here and elsewhere words have been supplied to fill up broken, 
illegible or doubtful places, or to make the meaning dear. 


garded him and his father as interlopers. ‘The lands of Amor 
are thy lands and my house is thy house, andall that is thy wish 
do thou write and I will give thee thy wish.’ The letters between 
Aziru and Egypt refer to the rebuilding of Simyra; it was perhaps 
the condition of his recognition by Egypt. But Aziru while 
protesting his loyalty and expressing his willingness to send wood 
and tribute, condemns the hostility of the nobles of Simyra _ 
much as Abd-Ashirta had done before him and excuses his 
delay by the threatening advance of Hatti invaders, who were 
already in Nukhashshi and Tunip. But it is thoroughly character- 
istic of these kaleidoscopic scenes that Khatib, an Egyptian envoy, 
who on one occasion is commended by Aziru, is at another time 
accused by him of making off with some money and goods sent by 
the king, and of instigating the kings of Nukhashshi to take his 
cities. Another messenger, Khani, was sent from Egypt, but 
Aziru avoided him by going to Tunip. He explained, however, 
to the king that his brothers and Batti-ilu had loyally received 
Khani and had given him horses and asses for the journey. His 
absence was not intentional — ‘thy gods and Shamash know 
indeed whether I was not dwelling, in Tunip.’ And when the 
question was pointedly put : ‘ W hy didst thou attend to the mes- 
senger of the king of Hatti, but my messenger hast thou not 
tended?’ he was clever enough to send, instead of excuses, an 
effective promise of tribute. An undated tablet from the ‘ Children 
(i.e. inhabitants) of Tunip’ to the king throws some light on the 
‘other side.’ They appeal for help from Aziru, who, after his 
capture of Simyra, is coming to treat them as he treated Niy; 
and they lament that for twenty years they had besought the 
return of the son of Aki-T eshub . The name of the fathei, it will 
be seen, reminds us of Akit-Teshub, the brother of the king 
of Niy, who had been defeated by Shubbiluliuma (p. 301 above). 

Khani was again sent to Aziru, and brought a list of the king s 
enemies to be despatched to Egypt in fetters. Since the names 
seem to be, partly at least, Egyptian, they may be (as Hall sug- 
gests) fugitives from the religious zeal of Ikhnaton. It would 
certainly be illuminating if an Egyptian party, opposed to 
Ikhnaton, were involved in these disturbances, especially as m 
north Syria we shall find evidence for the presence of various 
Egyptian princes. At all events, Aziru, placed between the 
two great powers in the north and the south, was playing, an 
ambiguous roA, and the king of Egypt, while not above making 
threats, holds out, as we have seen, an offer of peace. 

In due course Aziru went to Egypt after having extracted 


through Dudu an oath that he would not be harmed. A letter 
from one of his sons, appealing for his return, states that the 
kings of Nukhashshi are taunting him: ‘Thy father hast thou 
sold for gold to the king of Egypt, when will he send him out 
of Egypt?’ All the lands and the Sutu bedouins, confident 
that Aziru would not return, commenced hostilities. A letter 
from Batti-ilu (Aziru’s brother), apparently to Aziru himself, 
reports progress. The country is in tumult, cities of Amki have 
been seized by Lupakku, but prompt measures are being taken: 
‘ Our Lord, set not trouble in thy heart, make not thy heart to be 
troubled.’ To the tablet is appended another letter: ‘Unto 
Rab-ili and Abd-urash, unto Ben-ana and Rab-zidki ( ? associates 
of Aziru), Amur-ba’alu hath spoken saying “Peace be upon you! 
Let not your heart be vexed and take not anything to your heart, 
and here among your houses be peace in abundance,” and speak 
peaceably unto [i.e. greet] Anati.’ 

Letters from the other side warn the king against the new chief 
of Byblus (? Rib-Addi’s disloyal brother). They recapitulate the 
crimes of Aziru: these prove to be the murder of the kings of 
Ammia, Irkata and Ardata, which, however, had been previously 
attributed in other letters to Abd-Ashirta! They assure him that, 
although Aziru was in Egypt and was being recognized by the 
king, he was acting disloyally, sending troops to support Itakama 
and to seize the lands of Amki. 

Thus did Aziru play a double game, acting as though he were, 
to use the words of Rib-Addi, king of Hatti, or Mitanni, or 
Kash. Subsequently, as we learn from Shubbiluliuma, Aziru re- 
nounced whatever pro-Egyptian tendencies he had had, and, 
returning to his Hittite allegiance, was graciously forgiven and 
the Hittite-Amorite understanding confirmed (pp. 263 sq.> 302, 

3 l8 s 9-)- 

The Amorite movement had its tentacles along the Phoenician 
coast, in Syria and in Palestine. Leaving the coast-lands, we have 
now to trace the events in the Lebanons and Palestine. 


Somewhere in north Syria, on the road to Hatti, lived the 
royal prince Zikar. Another Syrian prince was Biruaza, perhaps 
the Biriamaza, whom Burraburiash charged with plundering his 
caravan, in league with Pamakhu, an Egyptian official (pp. 125, 
313). The queen Tiy herself was perhaps partly of Syrian origin, 
and not too highly respected by that king. It is not impossible, 


therefore, that we may recognize a group of Egyptian princes 
in a region already familiar from the story of Sinuhe (vol. i, 
p. 229). Complaints of Hatti inroads come from Nukhashshi, 
where Adad-nirari, a prince with a characteristically Assyrian 
name, states that the king of Egypt’s grandfather, Manakhbi{r)ia 
(Thutmose III), had anointed his grandfather Taku. It maybe more 
than a coincidence that the last name resembles Takuwa of Niy, 
who was perhaps a grandson (p. 301), and that Takuwa’s brother, 
Akit-Teshub, who with his allies of Katna and other cities with- 
stood the Hatti, recalls in name the father of the exiled prince of 
Tunip mentioned above (p. 308). From Katna itself the loyal 
Aki-izzi, whose letters are distinguished by some Hittite or 
Mitannian words, writes to Nam-mur-ia (Amenhotep III) of the 
depredations of the Hatti; and we hear of a coalition of kings in 
Mitanni to oppose the enemy. A hostile alliance, consisting of 
Aziru, Aitugama (i.e. Itakama, of Kadesh), Teuwati, Arzawaia 
and Dasha, is ravaging Ube (? Damascus), Amki and Mar 
(Amor, lv, 23); Itakama himself is spoken of as a veritable Hatti 
vassal. But Aki-izzi, and the kings of Niy, Zinzar and Yunanat, 
place themselves at the disposal of Egypt, and await the arrival 
of the royal troops. 

The details are not clear. Kadesh — presumably that on the 
Orontes — is the old centre of disaffection (p. 56 sq). The name 
Nukhashshi recalls the city or district of Nuges of the time of 
Thutmose III, although, if the latter place is to be confined to the 
Lebanons, the former would seem to be farther north (see p. 262). 
It is associated with Aleppo, Kinza, Kissuwadna, and, to judge 
from its name, was a ‘copper’ district. Hadadezer of Zobah, whom 
David defeated, controlled rich copper supplies in a district 
bordering on Hamath 1 . The location of Zobah is disputed; there 
may have been two of the name, one south of Damascus, the 
other in the neighbourhood of Hamath. But Zobah may well 
have varied in size from time to time, and since the same is true 
of Nukhashshi, we need not hesitate to identify the two names. 
Niy (south of Naharin) and Zinzar (Sezar) are also named by 
Amenhotep II with Aleppo, Carchemish, Katna and Kadesh (see 
above, p. 89). From his own records we know that Shubbiluliuma 
helped Sharrupshi of Nukhashshi against Mitanni; but later 
found himself obliged to attack him (p. 301), subsequently making 
an offensive and defensive alliance with a new king, Teitte, against 

1 2 Sam. viii, x., 1 Chron. xviii. The name of Hadadezer’s rival, the 
king of Hamath, To‘i or, rather, To‘u, is connected, by some authorities, 
with that of Taku (above). Cf. also Tagi, p. 312. 


XIII, in] 

3 1 1 

Egypt, Karduniash (Babylonia), the Harri and others. The treaty 
in question is of special interest because it includes among the 
participating gods the gods of the Habiru. 

In the fighting that took place brothers were divided. One 
loyalist complains that he was driven out of his ‘father’s house,’ 
Tubikhi (cf. Tibhath, rich in copper, x Chron. xviii, 8), by a 
rebellious brother who was seducing the cities, rousing the lands 
of Amor, and handing the people over to the Sa.Gaz. Both sides, 
as usual, alike declare themselves loyal; and while Aki-izzi tells 
the Pharaoh how the ‘man of Kadesh ’ had spoiled Namyaza, 
Itakama’s complaint is that his brother Namiawaza (the two 
names are doubtless identical) had taken away his ‘father’s house’ 
from Kadesh onwards, and burnt his cities. Namiawaza, in pointing 
to the loyalty of his ancestors, mentions his father Shuttarna. The 
name recalls that of the royal house of Tushratta, and suggests 
that he was of princely blood 1 . He guards the caravans to Naharin 
with his brothers; and with his warriors, chariots, Sa.Gaz and 
Sutu-troops, places himself at the king’s disposal. Preparations 
were made to receive the royal troops, and letters reach Egypt 
from Artamanya of Zir-Bashan, Abdi-milk of Shaskhim, and the 
chiefs of Kanah (in Asher, Josh, xix, 28), Dubu (cf. Tob, Judg. 
xi, 3) and Naziba (near Merom ?). One writer states that he 
guards the roads to Busrun; and the chief of Hazor (Abdi-Tirshi) 
seems almost to expect the king himself. Troops in fact arrived, 
and the sequel is characteristic of the turmoil. One Aiab 
reports that the chief of Hazor had robbed him of three of his 
cities; Abimilki of Tyre too states that the chief of Hazor had 
gone over to the Sa.Gaz. Itakama wrote to complain that his 
brother handed over to the Sa.Gaz the king’s cities in Takhash 
(cf. the Aramaean Tahash, Gen. xxii, 24) and Ube (Damascus); 
but he himself, with the help of the king’s gods and his Sun-god, 
recovered them and drove out the foe. On the other side, Namia- 
waza reports that the royal troops were wantonly given to the 
Sa.Gaz by Biridashwa (?cf. Dasha above, p. 310), who with 
Arzawaia was destroying Abi (? = Ube); we may conjecture that 
both of them were brothers of Itakama. Namiawaza himself had 
been driven out of Yanuamma (Yenoam), and the enemy gained 
Ashtarti (? Ashtaroth, i.e. Tell ‘Ashtarah), Busrun (22 m. south- 
east of Edrei) and Khalunni (Nahr el-‘ Allan near Ashtaroth). 
Namiawaza, however, boldly proclaimed himself ‘servant of the 

1 Especially if the name of the grandfather ( tar. No. cxcrv, 1 0) is 

really Sha-ush-sha-tar (see p. 300), although there is hardly room for this 


king of Egypt,’ and at Kumid (probably in the north of Hermon) 
maintained the Egyptian cause. The scenes are partly to the 
north of Palestine, while the three lost cities lay in the region of 
Decapolis, a well-defined province (cf. i _ Kings iv, 1 3), sub- 
sequently visited by both Ramses II and Seti I. It was a district of 
considerable political importance, and Seti’s monument at Tell 
esh-Shihab is about one hour east-south-east of Muzeirib, the 
meeting-place of roads from Damascus, Nawa, Edrei, Jebel 
‘Ajlun and Gadara. We are at the confines of Egyptian influence 
east of the Jordan, and the fact that cities are handed over to the 
Sa.Gaz instead of to the king points to determined efforts, pre- 
sumably by forces from without, to thrust back the Egyptian 

In central and southern Palestine the leader of the anti- 
Egyptian party was Labaya, whose letters are strongly coloured 
by some non-Semitic language, and whom we may identify with 
the writer of a letter in the Arzawa language. Arzawa itself lay in 
the north, like Kissuwadna, within the Hittite horizon (p. 272); 
and we have a polite letter from Nimuria (Amenhotep III) to its 
king, Tarkhundaraba, sending gifts and requesting his daughter 
in marriage and also better gifts than he had received before. 

The ‘sons of Labaya’ were in league with the ‘sons of Arzaia ’ ; 
but it is uncertain whether the last name is to be identified with 
Arzawa, or with the rebel Arzawaia of Rukhizzi (mentioned by 
Aki-izzi above), or with Arzaya who was among the nobles 
rescued by Abd-Ashirta from Simyra (p. 304). At all events, 
these allies, who have very definite northern connections, co- 
operated with Tagi (see p. 3 10 n. 1); and his son-in-law Milki-ili; 
and all are denounced by Abdi-Khiba of Jerusalem as leaders of 
the Habiru (the enemy invariably named by him instead of the 
Sa.Gaz ). Labaya, like the rest, vaunted the loyalty of his fore- 
fathers, and it is perhaps his son Mut-baal who sends the caravans 
along to Hanigalbat (Mitanni) and Karduniash (Babylonia), and 
is the author of an interesting report to the vizier Yankhamu 
on the situation in south Palestine (p. 316). Labaya himself, for 
a time at least, seems to have had his centre at Shechem, but he 
also had connections with Beth-shean and Gezer, so that he must 
have controlled central Palestine. His ally, Tagi, together with an 
unnamed brother, also guarded the caravans; he too had some 
authority in the south, and, in fact, it is at Aijalon, about 14 miles 
west-north-west of Jerusalem, and a noted trade-route and battle- 
field, that a caravan of Abdi-Khiba was attacked, and that the 
sons of Milki-ili (who was at one time opposed to Labaya) were 


nearly killed by the Sa.Gaz. The events appear to be spread over 
a number of years; and, as before, there are several indications of 
the movement of Egyptian troops to restore order 1 . 

The famous plain of Jezreel was, as ever, the centre of much 
warlike activity. Labaya, with mercenaries of the Sa.Gaz and 
Kashshi, captured a number of cities, and forced Yashdata, the 
king of Taanach, to flee to Biridiya of Megiddo. Biridiya, 
according to a Louvre Tablet (AO 7098), also controlled Shunem 
(east of Megiddo), and was in touch with Yapu (Joppa, or possibly 
Yafa, near Nazareth). But Megiddo itself was likewise in peril. 
Eventually Egyptian forces arrived and a victory was won, but 
with unsatisfactory results. Biridiya succeeded in taking Labaya; 
but Zurata of Accho, who undertook to ship the prisoner to 
Egypt, released him at Khinatuna (Hannathon), at the same time 
freeing another important captive and soi-disant ‘loyalist,’ Ba’lu- 
mikhir (Baal-mi’ir) of Tienni. It was at Hannathon, east of Accho, 
and on the northern border of what became the seat of the tribe 
of Zebulun that the caravans of Burraburiash were plundered 
with loss of life by Shutatna, son of Sharatum. In this outrage 
Shutatna had been associated with Shum-Adda, son of Ba-lum-mi, 
who may be identified with a certain Shumu-khadi detained in 
Egypt because his name was ‘evil before the king’ (xcvn). As 
Sharatum is doubtless our Zurata, both father and son scarcely 
appear to be loyal to Egypt. We have already seen how Rib-Addi 
felt that Accho was favoured at his expense; now it is Biridiya of 
Megiddo who asks ‘what have I done to the king that he lightly 
esteems ( killeJ) me, and honours ( 'kibbea Q my younger brother?’ 
Indeed, we find Zatatna of Accho (i.e. Shutatna) asking the king 
whether Shuta, the Egyptian official, was entitled to command him 
to hand over toNamiawazaZirdamiashda, a refugee from Megiddo. 
Thus, while Abd-Ashirta and his sons were threatening the Phoeni- 
cian coast, farther south, Accho, if it was not actively supporting the 
anti-Egyptian movement on the great trade-routes, was playing 
a part that was hardly acceptable to the pro-Egyptian chiefs, 
although the Egyptian court itself apparently had no suspicions. 

At one time or another — and unfortunately we cannot co- 
ordinate the events — the anti-Egyptian party had gained both 
sides of the Jordan and the coast-lands. Labaya had attacked 

1 A letter (ccliv), in which Labaya protests his loyalty, excuses his entry 
into Gezer, and hands over Dumuia (? his son) who had deserted to the 
Sa.Gaz, is dated by the Egyptian scribe in the year 10+ 2. . . that is, not 
of Amenhotep III (141 1-1375), but rather of his successor (1375-1358). In 
that year Ikhnaton’s officer Huy records the receipt of tribute from Kharu, 
i.e. Palestine (Breasted, Ancient Egyptian Records, 11, sec. 1015) Seep. 125. 


Shunem, Burkun (? Bene-Berak), Gath-Rimmon (near Joppa), 
Gitpadalla (Gath-?) and Kharabu (? Arrabe, south of Jenin). At 
Gina (En-Gannim, modern Jenin) he was killed, and his sons 
at once continued his policy and tried in vain to compel Addu- 
Karradu, who had recovered Gitpadalla for the king, to join them. 
Addu-Karradu, in reporting this to the king, insinuates that 
Namiawaza (whom we have known as the king’s loyal servant) is 
not quite sincere in his endeavours against the enemy. The 
‘mistress’ of Lebaoth (? or Chephirah), the only chieftainess 
mentioned in the Letters (cclxxiii), states that the Sa.Gaz took 
Sabuma (Zeboim) and raided Aijalon and Zorah. Among the 
appeals that reach the king Dagan-takala cries for deliverance 
from the Sa.Gaz — the ‘robbers,’ as he calls them — and the Sutu. 
Addu-dani reports that Beia, the son of Gulate, plundered Gezer, 
laying a heavy ransom upon the captives, and carried away the 
men that were being sent to Joppa on the king’s service; and 
from Gezer itself Yapakhi, threatened by Sa.Gaz and Sutu, 
writes that his young brother had joined the Sa.Gaz\ and the 
whole land of . . .annaki (?) was hostile. 

Maia, one of the royal officers, travelled round with instructions 
for the chiefs; and letters reach Egypt expressing loyalty and a 
readiness to prepare for the troops. Steps were taken to put down 
the revolt, and we hear of a payment of 1400 pieces of silver to 
a royal prefect, as compensation for some thirteen Egyptians 
whom the Sa.Gaz had wounded (No. cccxm). Various prisoners 
were also despatched to Egypt. But Addu-dani has to complain 
that Maia took out of his hands the city of Manakhate, which he 
had fortified in readiness for the troops, and he requests that 
Rianap should be ordered to restore the city. Rianap is the prefect 
named by Widia of Askalon, and by Pu-Baal of Yursa (who had 
been robbed and could not send his caravan to Egypt). Thus, the 
scenes are laid along the main routes in the western lowlands 
(the Shephelah); and Addu-dani, who was perhaps connected 
with Gath, is one of those who prepare to send a caravan to the 
king. In his city Manakhate we should probably recognize Mana- 
hath, which, in the O.T., is closely associated with Zorah, and, 
which, according to Israelite tradition, was the camping-station 
of a band of 600 Danite warriors in the course of their advance 
from their southern home into north Palestine 1 . 

1 Reading Manahath-Dan for Mahaneh-Dan in Judg. xiii, 25, xviii, 12, 
cf. x Chron. ii, 52, 54 - Both Bene-Berak and Gath-Rimmon (above) are 
ascribed later to the Southern Dan. On the Danite movement, see also 
below, pp. 388, 396. 


Gradually the revolt spread southwards and Jerusalem itself 
was threatened. For a time Abdi-Khiba of Jerusalem, Shuwardata 
of Keilah, Zurata of Accho (above), Endaruta (?) of Achshaph, 
together with Milki-ili, made common cause; and appeal was 
made for Yankhamu 1 . Then the situation changed and Abdi- 
Khiba lost his support. He has to warn the king that, through 
the intrigues of Milki-ili and the sons of Labaya, Gezer, Askalon 
and Lachish are hostile to Egypt; and another writer reports 
that Lachish had seized Mukhrashti (its eastern neighbour 
Mareshah). Milki-ili and Shuwardata hired men of Gezer, Gimti 
(Gath) and Kilti (Keilah), and seized the land of Rubute ( ? Rabbah, 
near Kirj ath-j earim) . The whole land fell away to the Habiru. 
Determined efforts were made against Jerusalem itself. ‘A city 
of the land of Jerusalem, whose name is Beth-Ninurta, a city of 
the king, has gone over to the people of Keilah’: so laments 
Abdi-Khiba, as he depicts the steady aggression of Tagi and 
other Habiru leaders. And, as if this were not enough, the troops 
which the king despatched were held back by Addaia in Gaza. 

Abdi-Khiba, surrounded by intrigue, even questions the 
loyalty of the great Yankhamu himself: 

What have I done unto my lord the king? Men slander me before my (?) 
lord the king, (saying) ‘Abdi-Khiba hath fallen away from his lord the 
king.’ See, as for me, neither my father nor my mother have set me in this 
place; the mighty arm of the king hath caused me to enter into the house 
of my father. Wherefore should (I) sin against my (?) lord the king? While 
my lord the king liveth, I will say unto the prefect of (my) lord the king: 
‘Why lovest thou the Habiru and hatest the governors?’ And so men malign 
me before my lord the king! When one says: ‘The lands of my lord the king 
are lost,’ so do they malign me before my lord the king! But may my lord the 
king know this: when my lord the king set a garrison, Enkhamu (t.e. 
Yankhamu) took it (?) all (?). 

The other side of the picture is presented by Shuwardata of 
Keilah, who, with Milki-ili, had been denounced by Abdi-Khiba. 
In a series of seven letters Shuwardata, without naming the 
Sa.Gaz , appeals for help against a league of thirty hostile cities 
— citing Yankhamu as witness on his behalf. ‘Labaya is dead 
who took our cities, but, see, another Labaya is Abdi-Khiba, and 
he takes our cities.’ He himself had been sent by the king to 
make war against Keilah and had recovered it; but the king of 
Jerusalem had tried to win the men of Keilah back to his side 
with bribes. He himself had done no harm, ‘let the king ask 

1 We owe this important fact mainly to the ‘Amarna letter’ recently 
published by Thureau-Dangin (AO 7096; Rev. Jss. xix, 98 sqq.). 


whether I have ever taken a man or an ox or an ass from him’ 
(cf. i Sam. xii, 3). Amid such charges and counter-charges, the 
one fact that stands out clearly is the prominence of Jerusalem, 
an important centre, which was evidently endeavouring to exploit 
the situation after the death of Labaya. 

It would seem that Tagi and his friends were as influential 
and powerful as Aziru himself. For Tagi, who never fails to 
protest his loyalty, sent to the king an envoy who had the privilege 
of a personal interview — for which poor Abdi-Khiba begged in 
vain — and returned with sundry gifts. Even Milki-ili was in a 
position to write and ask for healing-myrrh. In such circumstances 
it is difficult to follow the events with any confidence, and it must 
suffice to conclude with two representations, the one by the 
unhappy Abdi-Khiba, and the other by Mut-baal, perhaps a son 
of Labaya, who, as has been mentioned, had some control over 
the caravan-route to Mitanni and Babylonia, and was of doubtful 
allegiance to Egypt. Mut-baal sent what must have been a valuable 
report to Yankhamu, briefly narrating the situation. It is worth 
quoting as a specimen (No. cclvi) : 

Speak unto Yankhamu, my lord, saying: ‘Mut-ba’lu thy servant (hath 
spoken), saying: “At the two feet of my lord have I fallen down. How hath 
Mut-ba’lu spoken before thee, saying: Ayab hath fled as the king of Bikhishi 
hath fled from before the regents of his lord the king? May my lord the 
king live, may my lord the king live, if Ayab is in Bikhishi (i.e. as my lord 
the king liveth, Ayab is not in Bikhishi). Behold ! two months . . . Of a truth(?) 
ask Benenima, of a truth (?) ask Yadua, of a truth (?) ask Yashuya whether, 
since Silim-Marduk (a compound name, analogous to Shelem-iah) hath 
stolen Ashtarti, he hath fled away, when all the cities of Gari, Udumu 
(Duma, south of Hebron?), Aduri (Adoraim, west of Hebron), Araru 
(Aroer, S.E. of Beersheba?), Meshtu, Magdalim (Migdal-Gad, east of 
Askalon?), Khinyanabi (‘well of A nab,’ S. Judah?) and Zarki (eastofMaon?) 
are hostile, and when Khawini (south-west of Maon?) and Yabishiba are 
captured. Further: behold! after thou has written a ‘tablet’ unto me, have 
I written unto him. Even before thine arrival from thy journey, then, 
behold ! he will have arrived in Bikhishi and will hear thy words.” ’ 

If the identifications are correct the area concerned apparently 
lay to the south and south-west of Jerusalem; and Winckler’s 
view that the ‘land of Gari’ refers to Kharu (the Egyptian name 
for south Palestine), and is identical with that of the Horites, has 
much in its favour (see vol. 1, p. ,235). This district would 
naturally concern Abdi-Khiba, who is usually full of complaints 
against Labaya and other anti-Egyptian leaders. But Shuwardata 
of Keilah, as we have seen, denounces the king of Jerusalem as 
‘another Labaya,’ and since Mut-baal, who was perhaps Labaya’s 


son, does not name the Habiru, Sutu or Sa.Gaz, it is not im- 
probable that his report refers to the activities of Abdi-Khiba. 
And as it is addressed to Yankhamu, of whose loyalty Abdi- 
Khiba is not a little suspicious, it is further probable that this 
great officer was hand-in-hand with the anti-Egyptian leaders. 
His attitude to Rib-Addi was certainly not always above reproach 
(p. 305), and to the fact that his name marks him out as a Semite, 
and not an Egyptian, it may be added that the high-official Dudu, 
upon whom the wily Aziru relied, has also a Semitic name, which 
indeed recalls that of David (cf. p. 32 3). 

In any event, we may recognize Jerusalem as an influential 
city with extensive interests, exposed to the attacks of hostile 
neighbours in the west and the north — corresponding to the 
Philistines and (north) Israelites of a later time — and ready to 
seize any opportunity to extend its influence. But only on the 
part of Labaya, Tagi, Milki-ili and their associates do we find 
any indication of concerted action and unity of purpose over the 
whole land; and if the letters of Abdi-Khiba are really the latest, 
they give a melancholy picture of his own waning might. He 
makes many accusations; and he has many enemies who pursue 
him ruthlessly. They hinder him from coming to the king, and 
Kashshi troops had even attempted to kill him. Yet, he declares, 
he is in the right ( saduk ) as regards these bandits! As far as the 
lands of Seir, and as far as Gath-Carmel, the lands had revolted 
and were hostile to him. Tagi had got the land of Gath-Carmel 
and the men of Gimti (Gath) were in occupation of Beth-shean. 
‘When there was a ship on the sea the mighty arm of the king 
held Nah(a)rin and Kapasi(P), but now the Habiru hold the 
king’s cities: the king has no regent left, all are lost 1 .’ 'The king 
has set his name upon the land of Jerusalem for ever, therefore 
can he not forsake the lands of Jerusalem.’ But the appeal was in 
vain; his enemies had gained the king’s ear, and the men who con- 
trolled or captured the great trade-routes won the day. 

Such is the general picture of disturbance by land and sea 
which the Amarna letters provide. A few crucial pieces of 
evidence would settle the many obscure questions of date, order 
and locality. The situation in its broad outlines is characteristic. 
At other periods and with other actors pro- and anti-Egyptian 
factions split the land, and determined attempts to utilize such 
factions were no exception in old Oriental politics. Whether the 
amiable and peace-loving Ikhnaton is to be held responsible for 

1 Knudtzon’s translation (‘I once had a ship on the sea when the 
mighty . . is not generally accepted (cclxxxvtii, 32—40). 


the confusion in Syria and Palestine may be questioned; and if 
he was weak, the queen-mother Tiy was a resolute woman and not 
without authority. In any case, these letters have the advantage 
of allowing us to look behind the scenes in a way that is impossible 
when, as, e.g. in the case of the Old Testament, sources have 
been deliberately selected and shaped, in order to present particu- 
lar views of the past. They enable us to visualize something of the 
ebb and flow of life, and to gain through the heterogeneous mass of 
protests and declarations some knowledge of the psychology of 
the people, which adds immensely to our understanding of those 
relatively late narratives upon which our conception of the ancient 
Hebrews has hitherto been based. But before we turn to notice more 
closely the life and thought of the Amarna age it will be convenient 
to supplement the preceding chapters by a rapid survey of the sub- 
sequent external history down to the close of our period. 


In the south, as we learn from Harmhab ’s tomb, starving, 
homeless Asiatics poured into Egypt, beseeching the king to 
grant them a home, and to send forth his mighty sword (see 
p. 125 above). The situation appears to have been temporarily 
relieved, but Harmhab, who was a great administrator, like 
Hammurabi of Babylon, though on a smaller scale, was fully 
occupied with his labours on behalf of Egypt. For a time Asia 
was left to itself, and conditions grew worse. It remained for Seti I 
to resume the old Egyptian policy, and reconquer Palestine. 

In the meantime the Hatti king, Shubbiluliuma seems to have 
remained in touch with Egypt, and concluded a treaty, perhaps 
with Harmhab himself(p. 1 34) . Previously, the widow of the short- 
lived Tutenkhamon, appears to have offered to marry a son of a 
Hatti king (p. 130); outwardly, friendly relations between Egypt 
and Hatti evidently prevailed. Shubbiluliuma, after a long reign 
(? 1411— 1359), was followed by Arnuandash and, a few years 
later, by Murshil ( ? 13 35— 1330). In an alliance with Shunashshura 
of Kissuwadna Murshil restored it to independence, confirming 
its ancient boundaries (p. 264). Aleppo, too, must be subdued, 
and a treaty was concluded with its king Rimisharma, by both 
Murshil and his son Mutallu. Aziru, as we know, submitted to 
the Hatti (p. 309). His successors, Idin-Teshub, Abbi-Teshub 
and Bantishinna, seized the throne one after the other, remaining 
loyal to Hatti; and the last-mentioned married the princess 
Gashshuliauie, the daughter of another son of Murshil, named 


Hattushil, whose son, Nerikka-ilim, was married to Bantishinna’s 
daughter. Hattushil’s queen Pudukhipa was a princess of Kis- 
suwadna. Thus was maintained the Amorite and Hittite con- 
nection which became traditional in Palestine (cf. Ezek. xvi and 
see vol. 1, p. 233 sq .). 

When Seti came to the throne (13x4) the situation in Palestine 
recalls that of the Amarna letters. The Shasu (‘plunderers’) — 
already met with in the time of Thutmose III — were up in arms 
in Palestine; but it is not quite clear whether there was once 
more a civil war within the land, or whether the weakened state 
of Palestine had invited a bedouin invasion of which the Amarna 
letters give the opening scenes (cf. p. 135). In his first year, 
Seti marched through Canaan, smiting, among other cities, 
Accho, Beth-Shael (Beth-shean), Yenoam, Tyre and Uzu, 
Kerned (Kumid), Ullaza and Simyra. He claimed conquests over 
Hatti, Naharin and Alasa, and stormed a city in the land of Kode 
(see p. 137). His monuments have been found at Beth-shean 
and at Homs (Emesa); and one at Tell esh-Shihab in the Deca- 
polis indicates that Egyptian forces were east of the Jordan, as 
already in the Amarna period. Only a few miles farther north 
stands the so-called ‘Stone of Job,’ which commemorates his 
successor, Ramses II (see pp. 148, 312). Of special interest is the 
fact that both kings mention, among places in the interior of 
Phoenicia, Asaru, which is presumably Asher, later the name of 
one of the tribes of Israel. In spite of the treaty-relations between 
Hatti and Egypt, the former launched a mighty attack upon 
Egypt. The effort of the northern power to collect as many con- 
federate states as possible is seen in the lists preserved by the 
Egyptians (p. 141). Also, in the Egyptian list of the fleeing 
enemy we encounter a number of typical names of Hatti or 
Asia Minor affinity. None the less, so little effective was the 
Egyptian victory that the anti-Egyptian revolt spread to the south. 
Askalon, among other cities, was stormed, and a relief depicts the 
defenders with Hittite features. Similarly, Deper (Tabor) in the land 
of Amor is represented as being in Hittite hands (p. 148). 

The famous treaty between Ramses II and Hattushil ignores 
the minor peoples, except in so far as some reference is made to 
their gods (viz. in the case of Tyre; see p. 266). But no 
mention is made of the gods of the Sa.Gaz or of the Habiru, as 
in the treaties of Shubbiluliuma with Mitanni and Nukhashshi. 
Urkhi-Teshub, whom Hattushil had ousted at his accession, 
attempted to stir up strife, but (in a Boghaz Keui tablet) Ramses 
informs the king of Mira (Maer) that he faithfully adheres to the 


treaty-obligations. Amor, we may suspect, was again playing an 
ambiguous role. How important it then was, is seen in Hattushil’s 
letter to the Kassite Kadashman-Enlil, which not only shows that 
Hattushil was in alliance with Babylonia during his campaigns 
against Egypt, but represents his, protege, Bantishinna, as exercising 
influence up to the very borders of Babylonia itself. In the same 
letter we read of unrest, both among the Akhlamu nomads 
(already named in the Amarna letters), and on the part of 
Assyria. It is about this time, when Urkhi-Teshub is often men- 
tioned in the Boghaz Keui texts, that Shalmaneser I (1276-1257) 
marched westwards against the Hatti, and their Akhlamu allies, 
fighting Shattuara, king of Hani (compare the name Shuttarna, 
p. 241), and visiting Harran, Garchemish and Musri (PCappa- 
cLocia). See also p. 259. 

We approach the age of the decline of both Hatti and Egypt, 
and the increasing unrest among the isles. The mercenaries whom 
Egypt had trained to war were growing stronger than their 
masters, and Merneptah (122 5- 1215) was faced with a powerful 
combination by land and sea. Egypt, the old storehouse of grain, 
must needs send food to the impoverished Hatti, who, it would 
seem, were actually involved in the movements of the Sea-peoples. 
Some Shasu of Edom were also being allowed to enter and 
pasture their cattle near Pithom (p. x 54). Merneptah’s triumphant 
ode of victory is celebrated both for its literary style and for its 
allusions to Palestine (p. 169). It contains the earliest mention of 
Israel (using the sign that denotes a foreign people); but the 
phrase ‘her seed is not’ is a conventional expression which does 
not necessarily refer to a settled agricultural people. Nor need it 
be a punning reference to Jezreel — as though central Palestine was 
more specifically Israelite — although Kharu (Palestine) is likened 
to a Khare (widow), andYenoam is made ‘as a thing that is naught’ 
(? cp. in the Amarna letters, ianu minima, ‘there is nothing’). 
‘The Canaan’ of the inscription appears to be a southern locality. 
Little can be based upon the order of the names, but the separation 
of Israel from south Kharu and from Gezer and Askalon, closely 
corresponds to a typical situation (see p. 38 1). 

In the age of confusion before the accession of Ramses III a 
Syrian gained power in Egypt and, like the Hyksos of old, was 
notorious for his iconoclastic treatment of the Egyptian gods 
(p. 171 sq.). Early in the reign of Ramses the Sea-peoples again 
threatened Egypt, and, as before, the disturbances began west of 
the Delta. Libyans and Aegeans participated, and with them the 
Pulesati (Philistines), Thekel (or Zakkal, see p. 173, n. 1) and 


others. Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arvad and Alashiya fell before 
them, and the hordes encamped in Amor. Appeals for help 
reached Egypt, and Ramses proceeded to Zahi (Phoenicia), and 
claimed to be victorious on sea and land (see pp. 175, 283). None 
the less, the hold upon Syria slackened, and a fresh campaign 
was necessary — it was the last effort of Egypt against the Hittites. 
Against the ‘people of Seir of the tribes of the Shasu’ Ramses 
must also send a punitive expedition, and a relief at Medinet 
Habu depicts seven captive chiefs, each with typical costume and 
physical features: Hittite, Amorite, Thekel, Sherden, Shasu, 
Tursha and Philistine. Although Ramses III continued to receive 
tribute from Asia, new political scenes were being set. In Egypt 
the Theban priests and mercenaries became powerful; but 
Egyptian inscriptions cease in Sinai after the time of Ramses IV. 
If anything, it is Syrian influence in Egypt which grows in 
strength. The Delta gained its independence, and therewith 
conditions changed in the Levant. The account of the envoy 
Wenamon, of the days of Ramses XI (11x8—1090), is a telling 
witness, both to the virtual death of Egyptian prestige, and to 
the independence and importance of the Phoenician coast-towns 
(pp. 192 sqq.). How far the history of Syria and Palestine was 
affected in these developments will be considered later (see below, 
pp. 37 6 sqq.). 


Upon the internal conditions in Syria and Palestine much 
valuable light is thrown by the Amarna letters, although allow- 
ance must naturally be made for the fact that they belong, properly 
speaking, to a rather restricted period. In them we meet with 
numerous petty ‘kings’ ( 'sharrani ), even of close-lying places (cf. 
similarly Josh, x— xii). They hold power under the king of Egypt, 
and this gives them a special claim upon him. They often call 
themselves the ‘man’ ( amelu ) of the city N.; but the ordinary 
title is ‘prefect’ (khazan), a familiar term in post-biblical Hebrew 
for an overseer. It is, perhaps, an indication of the prominence 
of Jerusalem that Abdi-Khiba insists that he is no khazdn like 
the rest, but an li-e-u 1 . He is a ‘shepherd’ of the king; it is the 
title employed by such great kings as Seti I, who calls himself 
‘good shepherd,’ and Hammurabi (cf. also Ezek. xxxiv). He very 
distinctly attributes his position, not to father or mother, but to 

1 It is the title also given to Merire, Ikhnaton’s priest and ‘great seer’ of 
the god Aton (Breasted, Ancient Egyptian Records 11, sec. 987). 

C.A.H. JI 



the king (see the letter, p. 3 1 5). Although we meet with hereditary 
ruling families (Nos. clxxix, clxxxix, cf. cccxvn), with their 
‘father’s house’ ( bit abi\ cf. the similar term for a tribal division, 
Ex. vi, 14, etc.), a son who took the place of his slain father must 
await the arrival of the Egyptian officer (rabis, ccxx). Even a 
transference from one city to another seems to require a ‘ renewal ’ 
(cxcvii; cf. the Hebrew equivalent in 1 Sam. xi, 14). Presumably, 
as was the custom later (e.g. 1 Macc. vi, 1 5), the king would send 
a symbol of investiture (e.g. a ring, cvu). Taku of Nukhashshi 
was ceremonially anointed by Thutmose III in his own city. 
When Abimilki of Tyre, in return to a request for information, 
reports that ‘the king of the land of Danuna is dead and his 
brother has become king after him, and his land is quiet,’ the 
reference is probably to a district outside Egyptian jurisdiction, 
though the identification is uncertain (see p. 281). We meet with 
one chieftainess (cclxxiii); but Yapakhi of Gezer speaks of both 
his father and mother as faithful servants of the king. Some of 
the prefects had been taken to Egypt, evidently as hostages : the 
‘sons of Tunip’ anxiously request the return of the son of their 
old leader, Aki-Teshub; and Yakhtiri, the guardian of Gaza and 
Joppa, reminds the king that he had been brought to Egypt and 
had served him, and had stood at the King’s Gate (see above, 
p. 72). Here and elsewhere certain cities were closely associated, 
e.g. Lachish and Gezer (excavation has shown that they also 
shared certain cultural elements); or one city would have authority 
over others, so, for example, Gebal, Tyre and Jerusalem. Cities 
also differed as regards their rights, some having greater powers 
and claiming to be as autonomous as any city of Egypt. 

Although some larger coalitions can be recognized, the chiefs, 
while freely impeaching their colleagues (ibri, cxxvi; the word is 
distinct from Rabiru ), are united mainly by their common recogni- 
tion of the Egyptian divine king. They hold the cities for the 
king, they take their orders from him, they duly send reports, 
and ‘will do nothing until the king sends reply to his servant’ 
(cclxxx). Egyptian interests were everywhere represented by the 
rabis, literally ‘the croucher’ (watchman?). We may suppose that 
this servant of the royal ‘Shepherd’ was his ‘dog’; and ‘dog’ 
(kalb) is a common word for a subservient chieftain, though it is 
also used as a term of abuse (e.g. applied to Aziru by Rib-Addi). 
The same official is also called rabu (‘great one’), malik (‘coun- 
sellor’), or zukin (i.e. soken , as/jn Is. xxii, 15). The power of such 
officials was considerable, their jurisdiction extensive, their loyalty 
not always above reproach. They|mighffifix the amount of the 


tribute (the kings of Nukhashshi, Niy, etc., Lin, 50), even as 
(among the cuneiform tablets discovered at Taanach) Aman- 
khashir, whose title, however, is not stated, instructed Ishtar- 
washur to send his tribute to him at Megiddo and, on another 
occasion, to present himself before him at Gaza. The chiefs 
frequently refer the king to his officials as testimony for their 
good conduct or veracity, or for information upon the situation. 
They ask that one be sent to judge a law-suit, or to enquire into 
the loyalty of a suspected chief. Such officials were intermediaries, 
and their goodwill to be desired. 

Some of the great chiefs had friends or agents who especially 
represented their interests at court. Aziru appeals to Dudu, who 
‘ sits before the king’ and, incidentally, asks him to name his wants 
(p. 307 sq .). Dudu, whose name has a strikingly Semitic appear- 
ance (cf. Dodo, Dido, David), was perhaps the great Tutu whose 
tomb is at el-Amarna, a high official who intervened between the 
king and the foreign envoys. Rib-Addi’s friend Aman-appa was 
a military officer. Similar though not identical letters are some- 
times sent to the king and a court official. It was necessary to 
secure the king’s ear, and when Rib-Addi roundly tells the king: 
‘See, when the king my lord wrote, “see, troops have gone 
forth,” thou did’st (speak) lies. . . ’; we recognize that it was no 
less necessary to ensure that he was not deceived. From time to 
time certain officials are directly or indirectly condemned by the 
chiefs; and Rib-Addi names several Egyptians who were traitors 
to the Egyptian cause. 

The most prominent of all the officials was Yankhamu, 
virtually the vizier for all Syria, and the royal fan-bearer (musalil 
sharri ). Rib-Addi tells the king: ‘I hear from the mouth of the 
people that he is a wise man and all the people love him.’ His 
name marks him a Semite, like Dudu (above). He had control of 
the stores in Yarimuta; and it was his duty to send necessary 
supplies along the coast : one of Rib-Addi’s many complaints was 
that Simyra was better treated in this respect than Byblus. 
Houses were stripped of their fine woodwork (cf. Zeph. ii, 14), 
and men sold to him in return for food. He acted as judge in a 
quarrel between Rib-Addi and Yapa-Addi: a more complicated 
case, however, was taken to the king. His power is indicated also 
by the submissive tone of the letters addressed to him; only Yapa- 
Addi writes abruptly to complain that Yankhamu negligently 
holds aloof from Simyra which is so closely besieged that ships and 
corn cannot be taken thither. Yankhamu is pointed to as the man 
to send or lead troops for the protection of the whole land — north 


and south — against the Sa.Gaz, but he is sometimes blamed for 
his negligence, indifference, or double-dealing (p. 315). In this 
great figure some writers have seen the original of Joseph (note 
especially Gen. xlvii): he at least illustrates the power which a 
Syrian could wield in the Egyptian empire (cf. pp. 155, 17 1, 187). 
Yankhamu is most closely associated with the land of Yarimuta, 
which, whether identical or not with that named by Sargon (vol. 
1, p. 405), may be placed either in the Delta or more probably in 
the southern coast-land of Palestine (cf. Jarmuth, p. 353, n. 1). 
This being so, his alleged anti-Egyptian activities are the more 

Yankhamu and other high officials were intermediaries between 
the king and the vassal chiefs. All business was conducted by 
messengers, and a son of Aziru complains to the king that 
Yankhamu prevents his messenger from going to assure him of 
his readiness to serve him. Rib-Addi, too, among his many 
laments declares that his messengers could not reach the king, 
or that the king did not read the tablet, or that a tablet in reply 
was not sent back. Prevented from sending to court, he must 
even write for royal permission for Aman-masha, evidently a 
trusty scribe, to remain with him in order to carry his tablet and, 
no doubt, his more private instructions (cf. p. 335). On the other 
hand, chiefs might be summoned to Egypt to explain their con- 
duct. But the chief of Kumid sends his son; and Shubandu, aged 
and ill in the king’s service, sends a substitute. Shuwardata, after 
expressing his extreme delight at being summoned, enlarges in- 
stead upon the necessity of having troops sent to save him, and the 
wily Aziru passes from the heights of joy to the multiplication of 
excuses. Abimilki of Tyre points out that a guard must be sent 
to protect the city before he can leave it. There are also chiefs 
who, like Rib-Addi, desire to place their case before the king. 
Hostile chiefs and officials do their best to stop Abdi-Khiba from 
coming, and he asks for a rails to conduct him to Egypt. It is a 
mark of honour for chariots to be sent to convoy the chief to 
Egypt (clxxx, cclxx; cf. Jacob, Gen. xlv, 21, 27). Finally, in the 
most desperate cases, men fled into Egypt, and the Egyptian 
records describe the entry of the starving and homeless Semites 
(p. 125). 

There was an elaborate messenger-service. When Rib-Addi 
employed one of the Sa.Gaz to take a tablet into Simyra, he must 
give him no less than thirteen manas of silver and a set of garments 
(cxii). Ordinarily the messengers received their rations; and an 
Egyptian list enumerates the Syrian envoys (marayna) who were 


fed (at Thebes), and mentions the names of their cities: Megiddo, 
Chinnereth, Achshaph(P), Taanach, Tienni (cf. above, p. 313), 
Sharon, Askalon, Hazor, Lachish, etc. The more important 
envoys — like Khani, when he visited Aziru (p. 308) — are fur- 
nished with horses and asses, also cattle, fowls, food and drink. 
An Egyptian messenger returned with one of Aziru’s in order to 
carry the tribute to Egypt; and parties would be made up, as 
when the Egyptian prince Zikar sent messengers and presents to 
Egypt to accompany the envoys returning from Hatti. When 
Sinuhe left Egypt and fled to Syria, he was passed on from one 
district to another (vol. 1, p. 226); but something of the nature 
of a passport appears in the tablet sent by an unnamed though 
prominent king (? of north Syria) to protect his messenger on 
his j ourney (xxx) : 

Unto the kings of Canaan, the servants of my brother, the king verily 
hath spoken saying: ‘Behold, I have sent Akia, mine envoy, unto my 
brother, the king of Egypt, expeditiously to bestow pains upon the affair 1 . Let 
none detain him, (but) cause him swiftly to enter into Egypt, and take him 
with haste unto the hand of the prefect of Egypt and let not his hand be 
against him in aught.’ 

The messengers would bring the royal tablets to the chiefs, 
and carry away the acknowledgments. The latter were cast in 
more or less conventional terms, e.g.: ‘Speak unto my lord the 
king, the sun from heaven, saying : ‘ ‘ Zurata, the man of Accho, 
the servant of the king, the dust of his feet and the ground 
whereon he treadeth, (hath spoken) saying: At the feet of my 
lord the king, the sun from heaven, have I bowed down seven 
times seven times upon the belly and upon the back. Who is the 
man unto whom his lord the king hath written and he obeyeth 
not ? According to what goeth forth from the mouth of the Sun 
from heaven, so shall it be done.’” Again: ‘Unto my lord the 
king Ba’lu-mikhir, the true servant of the king, (hath spoken) 
saying : At the feet of my lord, the king, have I fallen down seven 
times and seven times. Everything whatsoever that the lord king, 
even the lord, hath done unto his land is very gracious.’ More- 
over, the chiefs declare that they hearken to the rabis , and in 
particular to a certain official (Maia is especially named) who is 
travelling round to prepare billets, etc., for the royal troops. 
Several letters state the readiness of the chiefs to meet chariots or 
ships and follow the king. Egypt had various garrisons and 
fortresses scattered over Syria, but the greater campaigns were 
undertaken only during the summer months. The first campaign 

1 The words in italics are extremely uncertain. 


of Thutmose III in Palestine, Lebanon and Nuges, was conducted 
within six months (see p. 72). It may be added that Rib-Addi 
in the depths of his despair allowed two months for the journey 
of his messenger and the arrival of reinforcements; and that 
Wenamon’s messenger took forty-eight days to go from Byblus 
to the Delta and to return with a cargo (p. 193). - 

In such circumstances as these, not only was the post of 
messenger or scribe an important one, but a firsthand acquaint- 
ance with Syria was indispensable. In the Papyrus Anastasi I 
(p. 225), a famous satirical composition of about the time of 
Ramses II, Amenemope, who claims to be a maker , or trained 
scribe, is mercilessly rallied by Hori, a scribe employed in the 
royal stables, for his extreme ignorance and incompetence. The 
style is inimitable, but even a very brief running paraphrastic 
adaptation will serve the present purpose 1 . 

O, scribe, to whom nothing is unknown, thou art sent on an expedition 
to (Phoenicia?) at the head of the victorious army of Sherden, Kehek, 
Meshwesh, etc., to smite the rebellious N-'-r-n (ne'arln^ youths?). You do 
not know how to ration them; the bedouins look on secretly; the army wants 
to start, but there is no bread; why do you punish the men? This is not good; 
let Mose hear (of it) and he will send to destroy thee 2 * . Thou sayest ‘I am 
a scribe, a maker? A swift horse is harnessed, it is like a storm of wind when 
it goes forth. But thou hast not gone to the land of Hatti or beheld Ube 
(Damascus). What is the Simyra of Ramses (viz. Ramses II) like? Thou 
hast never been to Kadesh and Tebah, nor to the region of the Shasu, nor 
the road to (P)-m-g-r, where the trees reach the heavens and lions are more 
plentiful than leopards, and the Shasu are on every side. Thy chariot is 
drawn up the hills, or thou hast to carry it, thou sleepest, tired and crushed; 
thy groom deserts thee and, joining the Shasu, disguises himself as an Asiatic. 
Thou art robbed of house and goods. What is Byblus like? Tell me about 
Beirut, Sidon, Zarephath, and Uzu (opposite Tyre). They tell of another 
city in the sea, Port Tyre its name, water is taken to it in boats, and it is 
richer in fishes than in sand. Another misery is the crossing of D-r—m 
(Zorah ?). Thou wilt say, it burns more than a (hornet) sting. (This is a play on 
Zorah [sor'ah] and sir ah.) Put me on the road to Accho, and Achshaph, the 
mountain of Shechem (? Mt. Ebal), Hazor, Kh-m-t (Hamath?). . .Which 
is the way to ’I-d-m-m (Adummim?). Tell me of other towns. Thou hast 
not gone to Takhshi (cf. p. 31 1), T-m-n-t (some northern Timnath), 
Kadesh, Dapur, H-r-n-m (Horonaim?), Kirjath-Anab, Beth-Sepher (i.e. 
Kirjath-Sepher), ’I-d-r-n (Adoraim) . . .orKh-n(r)-d in the land of Ubi, 4 a hill 
upon its boundary, the scene of the battles of every warrior.’ Pray, teach me 
about K-y-n (? Kanah), Rehob, Beth-shean and T-r-k-el, the stream of 

1 Egyptian Hieratic Texts, 1, I, The Papyrus Anastasi, by Alan H. 
Gardiner (Leipzig, 19 11). 

2 Mose, apparently a name for the Pharaoh, was once thought to be 

Moses (so e.g. F. J. Lauth in 1868). 


XIII, v] 


Jordan, how is it crossed? Cause me to know the crossing over to Megiddo, 
Thou hast perished like a Uon y O good maker . (In the words italicized the 
scribe has lapsed into Hebrew.) Thy name becomes like that of the chief of 
Asher — (his name is given as K-d-r-d-y) — when the hyaena found him in 
the balsam tree [bki y Heb. haka). The Shasu are concealed here: "some of 
them are of 4 or 5 cubits, fierce of face; their heart is not mild, and they 
hearken not to coaxing. 5 Thou art alone without helper or army (Heb. sabaj. 
Thy chariot is overturned, thy horse breaks its harness. At last the sky is 
revealed, thou fanciest that the enemy is behind thee. Thou hast entered 
Joppa, and findest the maiden who watches over the gardens. Disgracing 
thyself, thou art dismissed from the rank of maker. Thy shirt of fine linen 
is taken away. At night, when thou art worn out, men take stealthy weapons, 
cut the horse’s tether, and it flees. The chariot is smashed. 4 Give me food and 
water, for I have arrived safely. 5 But they turn a deaf ear. Thou makest thy 
way into the armoury; workshops surround thee, smiths and leather-workers 
are about thee, and do all that thou wishest. The chariot is repaired, and thou 
goest forth. What dost thou know of the extremity of the land of Canaan? 
(The road from Egypt to Raphia is then detailed.) How many leagues 5 march 
is it to Gaza? Answer quickly! Render me a report that I may call thee a 
maker, that I may boast to others of thy name of mariannu . As for me, 
I am experienced . . . Behold I have told thee the nature of the maker, I 
have traversed for thee Tenu [i.e. Retenu, see vol 1, p. 229); I have led to 
thee the foreign countries all at once, and the towns in their order. "Maybe, 
some day, thou too wilt be able to describe them and become (a travelled 

While this popular composition illustrates both the antiquarian- 
ism , and the practical interests of the Egyptian overlords of Syria, 
another text aims at instilling into the Egyptian the vocabulary 
necessary for the Foreign Service, and describes the equipment 
of an expedition to Syria, with a detailed enumeration of the horses, 
attendants, chariots and weapons. It amounts to a collection of 
native and foreign terms, indicative of the mingled population of 
south-west Asia, and proof, if that were necessary, of the advantage 
of possessing a lingua franca over the whole area held by Egypt 
and the other Oriental powers. 

If the great kings could be outspoken with their ‘brothers/ 
and comment upon the poor quality of their gifts, or of their 
maidens (No. 1, 80), their relations with the vassals were not 
likely to be less restrained. When Labaya protests his loyalty and 
readiness to pay tribute, he adds: ‘Further, how, if the king hath 
written for my wife, how should I withhold her? How, if the 
king hath written unto me: “Plunge a dagger of bronze into 
thine heart,” how should I not do the bidding of the king?" 
Shatiya (of Enishasi) sends his daughter to the court, and the 
king asks of the prince of Ammia (?) his daughter and 20 (?) 
goodly servants, in return for which ‘ the king, thy lord, will say 


“my face give thee life, seeing that thou hast given him, the 
king, a present with(?) thy daughter.’” Milki-ili complains to 
the king that Yankhamu has demanded of him 2000 shekels of 
silver, and also his wife and children. Perhaps this was not, as in 
the case of Rib-Addi’s subjects, in return for food, but because 
the vizier thought him a rebel; though Yankhamu’s behaviour 
was not always above suspicion. Men were sent as gifts by the 
prince of Zikar; Shubandu despatches 500 cattle and 20 maidens, 
and larger numbers were sent by Abdi-Khiba. In some cases these 
were probably captured in the civil war. Prisoners and slaves were 
constantly being sent to Egypt, and are frequently depicted. The 
children are usually naked to the age of puberty, but the babies 
are seen carried in a bag on the mother’s back. The more elabor- 
ately dressed men and women represent captured nobles ( 'my-r-y-n , 
cf. mariannu , p. 33 1) and their wives; and, as a consequence of the 
many wars, Syrians in great numbers entered Egypt and were 
distributed among the temples (Thebes, Memphis, etc.), or 
placed in the garrisons and employed as workmen. In this and 
other ways Egypt became familiar with the Semitic words for 
weapons (chariots, etc.), household vessels, cooking, music, gar- 
dening, shipping, etc. (p. 1 54). Semites appear among the brick- 
makers at the Temple of Amon (Thutmose III); and the overseer 
is represented saying to those who bring stone, ‘ Strengthen your 
hands, ye people.’ After his conquest of Megiddo the same king 
sent foreign workmen into Egypt; and later, under the Ramessids, 
mention is made of the Aperu, a foreign folk, who have sometimes 
been identified with the Hebrews. The name, however, has also 
been connected with that of Ephraim, or explained (by Muller) 
as that of a coast-dwelling people, whose name Afri, applied to 
the Phoenicians of Carthage, was the origin of Africa (see further, 
P- 357 ) 1 - 

From Egyptian descriptions and representations of Syrian pro- 
ducts and spoil, and from recent excavation, we can gain vivid 
pictures of the land, the warlike character of the soldiers, and the 
extent of intercourse (p. 70 sq.). Palestine was generally poorer 
than Syria. Syria was famed for beautiful and luxurious products, 
and Thutmose brought of the flowers that are in ‘God’s Land’ 
(a term sometimes used of Syria), and placed them in the temple 
of Amon. We read of rich Syrian flocks and herds of asses — 
elephants were hunted at Niy — of abundant honey, wine and oil; 
and at Arvad Thutmose III found grain ‘more plentiful than the 
sand of the shore’ (cf. the phrase in Gen. xxii, 17, etc.). Moreover, 
1 See W. Max Muller, 1913, p. 255. 


there were ivory, valuable woods, precious stones, copper, lead 
and silver, and chariots wrought in gold. Working in gold, to 
judge from the excavations at Gezer, was understood from early 
times. The men were sturdy warriors; and mace-heads, flint or 
bronze arrow-heads, and ballista-stones are among the other relics 
unearthed. Coats of mail were in use — 200 were taken by 
Thutmose at Megiddo. Representations are found of metal vases 
closely resembling Aegean workmanship. Phoenicia sends, in 
particular, vessels decorated with the heads of animals. The 
pottery unearthed in course of excavation reveals the influence of 
later Mycenaean ware (cf. pp. 427, 460). The shapes are graceful, 
with burnished ornamentation, and elaborate painting, which 
soon degenerates. Geometric patterns abound; but there is little 
originality, and they are chiefly combinations of a few motifs , 
usually in black, red and buff. Natural objects are often repre- 
sented : plants, fishes, animals (especially horned goats or ibexes), 
and particularly birds (see further, pp. 42 5 sqq.). Spindle-whorls, 
weavers’ weights, bone-needles, ivory buttons, etc., testify to a 
knowledge of weaving. Egyptian paintings often depict the gay 
dresses of the people (cf. vol. 1, p. 228). Among the more note- 
worthy fashions may be mentioned the pottery figurine from Gezer 
wearing a sort of tam-o’-shanter, braided round the edge and 
with six streaming ribbons. Articles for adornment and for cos- 
metic purposes already abound. 

It was a natural weakness for states to regard gifts as tribute, 
and to treat as either that which really required a quid pro quo. 
So, Thutmose III claims to have received tribute from Assyria; 
but Ashur-uballit informs Ikhnaton that Egypt had responded 
to the gifts of his father Ashur-nadin-akhi with 20 talents of gold. 
The king of Alashiya sends to Egypt consignments of copper, 
ivory and wood; but he gives a list of the things required (horses, 
chariots covered with gold, garments, oil, etc.). Egypt demands 
wood from Byblus, but Rib-Addi reminds the king that the 
Palace had formerly sent silver to his fathers; meanwhile, Aziru 
had seized the ports, and had sent ship-loads of wood, and we can 
guess to what use he put the payments (cf. p. 303). In the story of 
Wenamon Zakar-baal has his archives with the account of the 
silver sent in the past; and we also hear how the wood was felled 
and conveyed to Egypt in six ships (later we hear of floats, x Kings 
v, 9), in return for Egyptian products (gold, silver, linen, papyrus, 
hides, coils of rope, lentils and fish). Under different circum- 
stances Seti I compelled the Lebanon nobles to cut down the 
trees themselves (p. 136) — we see them represented in their best 


clothes — and Amenhotep II had made them drag the precious 
cedar for the sacred barques of Amon over the mountains. We do 
not know why a petty chief like Milki-ili, at one time a leader of 
the Habiru, could so confidently ask the king for healing myrrh 
(cclxix). An important vassal-king, Shama-Adda, in return for 
his present to Egypt, requests a couple of Nubian ( Kashsht) 
youths, and also a palace-physician, as he has none on the spot. 
The art of medicine is an old one; and the famous Ebers medical 
papyrus refers to the prescription of a man of Byblus 1 . It is 
significant that the Hatti king Hattushil complains to the king 
of Babylon of the detention of his ashifu - priest and of his 
physician; and to the despatch of the goddess Ishtar by Tush- 
ratta to the aged Amenhotep III (p. 300), there corresponds a 
late story where Ramses II sent an image of Khonsu to a Hittite 
princess of Naharin (p. x 5 1). 


Intercourse between Egypt and Syria reveals itself in a hundred 
ways : in the innumerable amulets, scarabs, seals and seal-impres- 
sions of Egyptian origin or influence, in the objects of Egyptian 
alabaster and glass, in the characteristic lotus decoration, and in 
the direct indications of the presence of Egyptians, as, for example, 
the statuette of Dudu-Amen of Gezer. Zakar-baal had at hand an 
Egyptian singer to cheer Wenamon with her songs; and, con- 
versely, Syrian females could be found in Egyptian harems, and 
officers could rise to high rank. Intermarriages were common, 
and, in general, the Egyptian province of Syria enjoyed a very 
considerable internal freedom provided it did not join the enemies 
of Egypt. 

There is archaeological evidence for intercourse with the 
Aegean, but similar evidence for intercourse with Babylon is rela- 
tively inconsiderable (p. 428 sq .). Cylinder seals sometimes appear 
to betray Mesopotamian influence, and some of the cylinders at 
Gezer represent a peculiar kind of curved scimitar identical with 
one found in a tomb at Gezer, with another found at Nablus, and 
with that which has the name of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari, 
now in the British Museum (p. 239). On the other hand, north 

1 p. 219. The ‘Edwin Smith ’ medical papyrus is proof, however, that in 
spite of the prominence of magic some little advance had been made in 
a systematic treatment, which was based upon careful observation and 
resorted to dissection (Breasted, Recueil d’£tudes £gyptologiques . . . de 
Champollion, pp. 385-429). See p. 220. 


Mesopotamian influence shows itself unmistakably, as we shall 
see, in many other ways. Some of the names of the Syrian princes 
point to the predominance, at an earlier period, of an influence 
from the north, and suggest the presence of a ruling aristocracy 
of Aryan or, rather, of early Iranian extraction. Here are to be 
mentioned the names of Shuwardata (‘sun [surya]-given ’) of 
Keilah, and Yashdata of Taanach. The latter was closely con- 
nected with Biridiya of Megiddo, with whose name we may com- 
pare Biridashwa (? ‘he who owns a great horse’) of Yenoam: the 
second element of this name recurs in the names Dasha, DashartI, 
etc., and appears to be Mitannian. Arzawiya’s name has also been 
thought to have an old Iranian origin; and in Artamanya of Zir- 
Bashan and various similar Mitanni compounds (Artatama, etc.), 
we may recognize the element Arta , which corresponds to the 
Sanskrit rita, ‘ order’ (p. 400), while the second part, Manya , is the 
name of one of Aziru’s associates, and reappears in Rusmanya, 
the chieftain of Sharun (near Lake Gennesaret). 

The ending of the name Namiawaza finds several analogies in 
Asia Minor (cf. Mattiuaza of Mitanni, and see p. 282), and that of 
Ma (or Ba)yarzana of Khazi (north of Palestine) recalls the Iranian 
-varzanu, -barzanes. Among the Indian (Indo-Iranian) gods known 
to the Hatti of Boghaz Keui were Yaruna (the guardian of rita), 
Indra and Mit(h)ra, and the last appears in a contemporary name 
in Egyptian (see further, p. 40 1 jy.). Winckler’s dubious conjecture 
that the marianni mentioned by the Hatti (cf. perhaps the maker , 
p. 326) were a class or caste whose name is that of the Yedic 
marya ‘noble,’ should perhaps be mentioned. Undoubtedly much 
is still uncertain, and the precise affinities of the Hatti language 
itself, or rather of the chaos of languages in the whole Hittite 
area, are still under discussion; yet the evidence as a whole points 
to the presence, amid influences of Asia Minor origin, of some 
distinctively Iranian (or Aryan) wave; see pp. 13, 253. Although 
much is at present obscure, remarkable light is being thrown 
upon early ethnical developments, and upon the extent to which 
Syria was exposed from time to time to utterly non-Semitic 
tendencies. The age of Persian influence (sixth— fourth centuries 
b.c.) thus appears to have had its forerunner in or before the 
Amarna age. 

Later, the Iranian elements seem to have disappeared. But 
names with Asia Minor analogies can be recognized in the 
Egyptian list of the Hittite leaders at the battle of Kadesh in the 
time of Ramses II. Among them is the element Targ , the familiar 
god Tarkh, Tark (p. 271), who, in the Amarna letters, appears 


only in the name Tarkhundaraba of Arzawa (p. 272 sq.). On the 
other hand, the divine name Khiba (Khipa), which is familiar in 
the north (Mitanni and Kissuwadna), is found as far south as 
Jerusalem in the name Abdi-Khiba, the first part of which 
(‘servant’) is read as a Semitic word, although it may well have 
been a Mitannian equivalent (Putu-). A similar ambiguity attaches 
to the sign for the god who was known as Teshub, Addu, etc. 
(vol. r, p. 23 1). The form Teshub, common in Mitanni and among 
the Kassites, is found in Amor (cf. the names, p. 318), and glosses 
in the Mitannian language appear as far south as Tunip. Indeed, 
the Mitannian language may also have been known in Amor, 
where we meet, along with good Semitic names (Aziru, etc.), 
some which are apparently foreign (e.g. Banti-shinna). The names 
along the coast are partly good Semitic (e.g. Abimilki and Zim- 
rida); but a few are strange, like Zatatna (Shutatna) of Accho. 
It is noteworthy that in an Egyptian list of Keftian names is one 
that could correspond to Achish (of Gath, in the time of David) 
and Ikausu (of Ekron, seventh century) — the rest contribute 
little or nothing, and an alleged Ben-Sisera is non-existent (p. 
287). While the Philistines appear in the O.T. practically already 
Semitized, save that they are not circumcised, the conjecture 
that Goliath’s name stands for some Guli-atta (? cf. the Lydian 
Alyattes) may just be mentioned. That the coast population con- 
tained an intermixture of blood from the Levant is of course 
only to be expected, and would be in harmony with conditions 
in subsequent centuries (p. 379). As for the Semitic names, a 
few in Ben- (‘son,’ e.g. Ben-ana of Byblus, and, later, Banazana 
of Zir-Bashan) are worth noticing because of the preponderance 
of this type in the list of Solomon’s twelve provincial governors 
(1 Kings iv). 

The native Semitic language was an earlier form of that which 
is known to us later in Hebrew, Moabite and Phoenician dialects. 
It has influenced the Babylonian of the cuneiform tablets, and is 
seen in the many ‘glosses’ from Byblus, Tyre and Palestine — 
but not from more northerly places. These glosses are usually 
severed by a slanting stroke from the preceding word, which they 
explain or replace; and they represent the current pronunciation, 
so far as the cuneiform syllabary allowed, whereas the languages 
mentioned above are written in a consonantal script, and the 
pronunciation of Hebrew itself is known (apart from Greek 
forms of names) only from later Rabbinical tradition, after the 
spoken language had long died out. These glosses, together with 
ancient place- and personal-names, and the Semitic words pre- 


served in Egyptian, present a not inconsiderable amount of 
interesting material. Thus it appears from an Egyptian source 
(p. 327) that the word for ‘good’ agrees with the Phoenician 
and Arabic ( n l m ) rather than with the Hebrew (tob'). When 
Abimilki of Tyre writes: ‘if the king says, “be (kuna) before the 
army,” the servant says to his lord “I will be” (ia-a-ia-ia ) ’ ; he 
appears to employ the two verbs for the copula which become 
characteristic of Phoenician and of Hebrew respectively. The 
glosses preserve some older grammatical forms; and while the 
plural ends in -m, as in Phoenician and Hebrew, one Egyptian 
source has -n ( n'ryn , p. 326), as in the Arabic, Moabite and 
Aramaic languages. 

The Egyptian scribes were familiar with Babylonian, and, it 
has been suggested (by W. M. Muller), copied their lists of Pales- 
tinian, Syrian and other names from cuneiform sources. It is 
noteworthy that in a list of towns of Cyprus of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, the scribe evidently misunderstood the Assyrian postpositive 
determinative ki, used to indicate the land or district of Salamis, 
and presents the form Salameski. Later, in the tenth century, the 
list of Shishak is thought to show some linguistic changes in 
Palestine, and the character of the Egyptian transliteration has 
been taken to indicate that a consonantal script had now come 
into use. However, the problem of the origin and date of the two 
great branches of the Semitic alphabet — the South Semitic (the 
old Arabian, etc.) and the North (Hebrew, Phoenician, Ara- 
maean, etc.) — still remains uncertain. Zakar-baal, it is true, had 
his court-journals, and Wenamon took with him 500 rolls of 
papyrus; but the latter may have been for export from Byblus : the 
Greek word biblos (whence ultimately our ‘Bible’) being derived 
from Byblus, like c parchment ’ from Pergamum, and ‘copper ’ from 
Cyprus. Later, at all events, ostraka from Samaria (? ninth cen- 
tury) written with a reed pen, and limestone tablets (Gezer, Tell 
Sandahannah) were employed; although at Gezer itself cuneiform 
clay-tablets were in use as late as 650 b.c. The North Semitic 
alphabet, as known to us, has not been proved to be older than 
the ninth century, although some writing at Serabit el-Khadim 
in the Sinaitic peninsula, supposed to date about 1500 B.c., is 
regarded by good authorities as evidence for the equally remote 
appearance of this script. See vol. 1, p. 189. 

At all events, the Babylonian language, with certain dialectical 
peculiarities, prevailed, not only as the language of diplomatic 
intercourse in Egypt and south-west Asia, but also, to judge from 
tablets (some unwritten) found at Taanach (together with aclay-box 


for holding them), for more local purposes, and for correspond- 
ence between the local chiefs and officials. That some common 
vehicle would be needed in the place of the different languages 
and dialects of the heterogeneous population, is natural. Many 
centuries later it was Aramaic; but that, earlier, the vehicle 
should have been a language and script so complex and difficult 
as the Babylonian, must be due to some definite historical cause 
(see p. 377). The Babylonian language of the Taanach tablets is 
relatively less precise than that of the Amarna letters, and it is 
noteworthy that among the tablets discovered at el-Amarna itself 
were portions of Babylonian myths, written in as simple a form 
as possible, and furnished with dots to facilitate reading. These 
were evidently for the purpose of training the Egyptian scribe in 
the complex script. Moreover, examples of simple exercises were 
also found, and in one case the order of the signs corresponds to 
that of the Assyrian syllabaries, and partly agrees with the order 
of the consonantal signs in the North Semitic alphabet. 

It is impossible, of course, to say to what extent the knowledge 
of Babylonian spread among the people of Palestine 1 . Presumably 
an Egyptian envoy might also act as scribe, although no doubt 
there were some chieftains who had scribes of their own. It may be 
pointed out, in passing, that David’s scribe, Shavsha (adopting the 
old form in 1 Chron. xviii, 1 6), apparently has a Babylonian name 
(‘sun’). The responsibility of the scribe or envoy is obvious when 
we consider the frequent difficulty of interpreting the letters with 
their elusive references, the use of some vague ‘he,’ the ambiguity 
of negative questions, and so forth. The custom of quoting some- 
times becomes complicated; one case runs: ‘I frequently said. . . 
you frequently said ... so I said . . . and you said . . . and frequently 
you said. . .so, now, see’ (lxxxii). In such circumstances mis- 
understandings were easy; and of this we may have an example 
when Rib-Addi is accused of having spoken hostile words against 
the king, whereas the king seems to have mistaken Rib-Addi’s 
quotation of Abd-Ashirta’s hostile utterance for the sentiments 
of the chief of Byblus himself (lxxiv, 14, 31 sqq. and xciv, 14 sqq.). 
The safest plan was both to send a tablet and to instruct the 

1 Letters sometimes reach Egypt from different chiefs, on tablets of ap- 
parently the same clay, sometimes couched in almost identical terms (ccm— 
ccvi), at other times differing only in contents (clxxvii-clxxxiii). A 
certain close similarity of style is found in different letters though of similar 
script (ccxcir, ccxcvr, cf. the style of cclxvi), and four appeals from different 
places in North Palestine agree in almost everything except the sender’s 
name and city (clxxiv sqq., Louvre, AO 7097). 


messenger what to say (similarly in 2 Kings xix, 9 sq., 14), and to 
ensure that both agreed. So, when the Hatti king Murshil made 
a treaty with Shunashshura of Kissuwadna, he included the 
following clause: 

If the Sun (i.e. the king of Hatti) send thee a tablet in which the record of 
a matter has been put down, and the messenger report (verbally) to thee 
about the matter which he has brought to thee, if the words of the messenger 
agree with the wording of the letter, then thou, Shunashshura, believe him. 
But if the words which thou hast from the mouth of the messenger do not 
correspond with the words of the letter, thou, Shunashshura, shalt not trust 
him, and thou shalt surely not take any harm in thy heart over these words. 

We hear of Khane, a ‘dragoman’ ( 'targumannu ) in connection 
with Babylonia and with Mitanni: he is perhaps the messenger 
Khani, whom the king, in a letter to Intaruda of Achshaph calls 
‘the royal officer (? Pa.Tur) in the land of Canaan.’ When Wen- 
amon was driven by sea to Alasa and brought before the queen 
Kheteb, he cries, ‘ surely there is one among you who understands 
Egyptian.’ Often the letters must be translated to the addressee, 
and Abdi-Khiba adds to his letters a humble appeal to the royal 
tup-shar — the word is Hebraized in Nahum iii, x 7 — praying him 
to ‘bring good words’ to the king. Two letters could safely be 
written on one tablet, and Pu-Baal appends to his formal letter 
to the king another to Shakhshikhashakh to explain his delay in 
sending a caravan. So also, the letter of Ba’aluia and Batti-ilu to 
their king (probably Aziru